The purpose of this paper is to identify forces (in the form of converters and inhibitors) of Lean Six Sigma adoption by studying the gradual adoption of Lean Six Sigma in a medium-sized Swedish manufacturing company. The paper suggests how the converters and inhibitors interact toward increased maturity of the adoption and, in this case, stagnation thereof.
Thirteen interviews were recorded and analyzed to identify converters that were moving the process forward or backward, as well as inhibitors that caused it to linger.
It was discovered that activities that had initially moved the process forward were not sufficient to move it beyond its current point. However, an increased knowledge of Lean Six Sigma throughout the organization now prevents the process from moving in the opposite direction. In this medium-sized Swedish manufacturing company, Lean Six Sigma becomes a framework for thought and communication during Lean work.
The study benefited from considering forces pushing the process forward as well as backward. Thus, the authors suggest that future studies will benefit from focusing beyond critical success factors that may at times are static in nature. As a limitation, for discussions about the past, the memories of interviewees, generally, may have a tendency to be biased.
The paper contributes knowledge of Lean Six Sigma adoptions and how they may attain greater future success by reporting on difficulties and setbacks in the current gradual adoption process in a chosen company.
The authors wish to express their gratitude toward the management and employees at PeakTech for showing such interest and, in particular, toward the improvement expert.
The authors are indebted to the anonymous reviewers for pointing out this aspect as original and critical for this paper.
Assarlind, M. and Aaboen, L. (2014), "Forces affecting one Lean Six Sigma adoption process", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 324-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-07-2013-0039Download as .RIS
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