The purpose of this paper is to establish a link between Six Sigma and organizational change theory. Specifically, a framework that aligns Six Sigma critical success/hindering factors and the antecedents of successful organizational change process.
A theory‐derived framework containing Six Sigma's critical success and hindering factors at each stage of Lewinian change process is first proposed. Then, the framework is compared against the findings from a case study of Six Sigma improvement project in a UK, make‐to‐order, small to medium‐sized enterprise (SME).
There is a great deal of congruence (consistency) between Six Sigma's critical success factors and the antecedents of successful organizational change. Addressing people's “soft” skills (e.g. commitment, involvement, and communication) is necessary to “unfreeze” the equilibrium. The actual change and confrontation, which occur during “move” stage, requires a combination of both “software” and “hardware” of the organization (i.e. teamwork, methods/tools, organizational structure and culture). It is important for SMEs to provide resources during the “freeze” stage and justify the benefits of change, in order to sustain the change efforts.
This research was based on a single case of Six Sigma improvement project. However, future research will be conducted as a longitudinal study, to capture richer insights from the change process.
This paper offers a practical overview of how Six Sigma can be utilized as a change driver in SMEs and the enablers and barriers of success to be considered, especially during the early stage of adoption.
Pinedo‐Cuenca, R., Gonzalez Olalla, P. and Setijono, D. (2012), "Linking Six Sigma's critical success/hindering factors and organizational change (development): A framework and a pilot study", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 284-298. https://doi.org/10.1108/20401461211284752Download as .RIS
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