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Study on Lean Six Sigma frameworks: a critical literature review

Shruti J. Raval (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India)
Ravi Kant (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The literature in the field of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is escalating with frameworks, but, till date, no effort has been made in existing literature to critically reviewing LSS frameworks. The aim of this paper is to investigate the literature about Lean, Six Sigma and LSS frameworks and critically reviewing the existing literature over numerous parameters.

Design/methodology/approach

This study focuses on a literature review of Lean, Six Sigma and LSS frameworks. The time span of this analysis is 30 years. The analysis is restricted to searching online databases such as Elsevier Science direct, Taylor and Francis, Emerald, Springer link, Wiley Inter-Science and Inder-Science. A total number of 58 frameworks have been used as sample size for this study. The study focuses on reviewing these 58 frameworks based on measures such as the novelty of frameworks, source of frameworks, framework verification, approach of verification and identification of vital elements/tools/constructs of frameworks and lastly comparative analysis of all these 58 frameworks

Findings

The analysis has identified major discrepancy such as laxity of researcher toward utilizing existing frameworks, lack of participation of practitioners and consultants in the development of LSS frameworks, and the elements/constructs used in structuring the frameworks are highly incoherent. Higher proportions of frameworks are verified through various modes of verification such as survey, case study, simulation, which encourages other researchers for applicability of the frameworks. Case study is found most popular research design method for verification of frameworks. Various frameworks are highly abstract or superficial. Some of the frameworks do not show how each construct/element are related to implementation in the organization. Out of 58 frameworks, the only single framework is highly comprehensive. A coherent framework for LSS is still lacking.

Research limitations/implications

This analysis is limited to peer review articles from Elsevier Science direct, Taylor and Francis, Emerald, Springer link, Wiley Inter-Science and Inder-Science databases and contains the search keywords in title only.

Originality/value

This study is first of its kind attempt, making an effort to the knowledge of the authors to critically review Lean, Six Sigma and LSS frameworks. This analysis will assist to recognize the LSS filed trends and framework applicability.

Keywords

Citation

Raval, S.J. and Kant, R. (2017), "Study on Lean Six Sigma frameworks: a critical literature review", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 275-334. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-02-2016-0003

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited