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The perceptions and perspectives of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioners: An empirical study in Malaysia

K. Jayaraman (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Teo Leam Kee (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Keng Lin Soh (School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 17 August 2012




The electronic manufacturing service (EMS) industry recognizes Lean Six Sigma (LSS) as an effective business strategy to strive for cost reduction and improve the profitability and growth of a company. There are many factors affecting the success of an LSS program to meet desired profitability and growth. The purpose of this paper is to identify the critical success factors (CSFs) in successful LSS programs and to evaluate the CSFs’ impact on company performance.


This study is carried out using the quantitative survey method containing structured questionnaires. The study population comprises the six multinational EMS industries in Malaysia that have successfully implemented LSS programs. The LSS practitioners, namely the holders of the Master Black Belt (MBB), the Black Belt (BB) and the LSS champions of the various international manufacturing sites of the six multinational EMS in Malaysia form the respondents.


The significance of this research is the identification of CFSs for the successful implementation of LSS within the EMS industry. It has identified management engagement and commitment as the most critical to the success of implementing the companies’ LSS programs. Moreover, an effective LSS training, an established LSS dashboard, a frequent communication among all value streams of organizations and a supportive organizational culture are also found to be essential ingredients for the implementation of LSS.

Practical implications

The paper advises of the nurturing of appropriate CSFs for successful implementation of LSS in the EMS industry and to evaluate its impact on the company performance.


This research adds a new body of knowledge containing factors in the implementation of LSS that are significant in their relationships with operational and organizational performances in the EMS industry, using primary data. The results would provide the EMS industry and other Malaysian SME companies with guidelines for the successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma with the intention to remain competitive.



Jayaraman, K., Leam Kee, T. and Lin Soh, K. (2012), "The perceptions and perspectives of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioners: An empirical study in Malaysia", The TQM Journal, Vol. 24 No. 5, pp. 433-446.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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