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The consequences of Six Sigma on job satisfaction: a study at three companies in Sweden

Karin Schön (Quality Technology and Management, Luleå, Sweden)
Bjarne Bergquist (Quality Technology and Management, Luleå, Sweden)
Bengt Klefsjö (Department of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 28 May 2010

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a study of how Six Sigma influences job satisfaction among employees at three large companies with manufacturing units in Sweden that have used different implementation strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was performed using a survey distributed to those affected by the implementation at the three company sites, including those not directly involved in any Six Sigma activities.

Findings

Employees participating in Six Sigma feel positive changes in many aspects of job satisfaction. The Black Belts (BBs) felt, on the average, positive changes in almost all the tested areas. The largest changes are related to personal and new skill development, influence on work duties and enjoying the work. BBs also feel more recognition from management. Employees not involved in the Six Sigma projects do, on average, also feel positively influenced by Six Sigma, but the tendency is not as clear.

Research limitations/implications

The results constitute a platform for further studies on the relation between Six Sigma applications and job satisfaction due to the different approaches used in the three studied plants.

Practical implications

The positive results should help alleviate concerns of job satisfaction due to implementation of Six Sigma.

Originality/value

The paper fills a knowledge gap concerning the effect of Six Sigma on employees' well being and job satisfaction.

Keywords

Citation

Schön, K., Bergquist, B. and Klefsjö, B. (2010), "The consequences of Six Sigma on job satisfaction: a study at three companies in Sweden", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 99-118. https://doi.org/10.1108/20401461011049494

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited