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Key observations from a survey about Six Sigma implementation in Brazil

Abel Ribeiro de Jesus (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University at Bahia, Salvador, Brazil)
Jiju Antony (School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Herman Augusto Lepikson (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University at Bahia, Salvador, Brazil)
Carlos Arthur M. Teixeira Cavalcante (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University at Bahia, Salvador, Brazil)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 12 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a survey on Six Sigma and key observations on which variables/management practices are the most important for a successful Six Sigma implementation, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the practices observed in companies in Brazil.

Design/methodology/approach

Five research questions were proposed, and an exploratory field study was carried out. A sample of 103 questionnaires was obtained. In total, 26 independent variables were analyzed, with a factor analysis reducing this number to 14, for which three main constructs were observed.

Findings

Large manufacturing industries are implementing the Six Sigma program in Brazil. Three main constructs were observed to be critical for the success of Six Sigma. The strengths and weaknesses of the 14 independent variables studied within each construct were found.

Practical implications

This paper has practical implications in that companies can use the conclusions of this study to improve their implementation of the Six Sigma program.

Social implications

This research may initiate cooperation between the companies within the study and academia, which may lead to a better understanding of Six Sigma within these organizations.

Originality/value

The originality of this study is that the survey was conducted with companies in Brazil, a country that suffers from a lack of information on Six Sigma programs. A robust methodological strategy was used that determined the three most important constructs for successful implementation of Six Sigma.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding from the Foundation to Support Research in the State of Bahia (FAPESB) supported the submission of a paper abroad. This submission led to additional funding from the Brazilian Commission for Improvement of Higher Education Teachers (CAPES), which provided a scholarship for the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, where part of this research and part of the work on this paper were performed.

Citation

Jesus, A.R.d., Antony, J., Lepikson, H.A. and Cavalcante, C.A.M.T. (2015), "Key observations from a survey about Six Sigma implementation in Brazil", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 64 No. 1, pp. 94-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-06-2013-0109

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited