Literature reviews in the field of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) are often substantially less stringently portrayed than other empirical research. The purpose of this paper is to lucubrate on clarifying emerging aspects, trends and importance of LSS through reviewing the published literature over multiple parameters for a ameliorating and trenchant view.
In the present study, a literature review of LSS articles is carried out over the time horizon of 14 years from referred peer-reviewed journals in business and management disciplines, information systems and computer science, engineering, healthcare, etc. While carrying out the literature review, various distinct dimensions are considered, such as publication years and journals, countries, research design, research type and application sector within industries. A descriptive evaluation of the literature body is followed by gap identification and future research opportunities.
LSS research is growing rapidly, covering various disciplines and domains with a great focus on LSS tools and techniques; empirical research is dominant with more emphasis on case study approach; and growing gap between manufacturing- and service-focused articles implies return of LSS to manufacturing as its initial base.
The review analysis entirely focuses on descriptive statistics of empirical research in LSS. The sample size includes 189 shortlisted articles in 58 journals published over a time span of 14 years (2001-2014). The paper provides both academicians and practitioners a better panorama to understand the present status of LSS for pursuing rigorous LSS research through explicating chronological emergence, challenging themes, dominating research types and application areas in LSS.
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