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Implementation of Lean Six Sigma in Saudi Arabian organisations: Findings from a survey

Saja Ahmed Albliwi (School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Jiju Antony (School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Norin Arshed (School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Abhijeet Ghadge (School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 3 April 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Although the popularity of the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology has illustrated many benefits over the years for those organisations who have implemented it, this strategy has received less attention in developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to critically assess the current status of LSS implementation in Saudi Arabian organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on a descriptive survey questionnaire which has been derived from two systematic literature reviews. The survey was distributed to 400 organisations in Saudi Arabia using Qualtrics online software. In total, 146 responses were received where 102 responses were completed and analysed.

Findings

The findings of the survey highlighted that the implementation of LSS is still in the early stages in organisations within Saudi Arabia. This was clearly shown by many factors such as years of deploying LSS, LSS infrastructure, level of awareness of LSS, impact of LSS on business functions and so on.

Research limitations/implications

The primary limitation of this study is that data has been collected from an online survey and therefore no deeper insights could have been captured from the survey. This calls for future research to be undertaken by executing semi-structured interviews in selective organisations within Saudi Arabia.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the current status of LSS in Saudi Arabian organisations. It also gives recommendations to guide the future of LSS in Saudi organisations by comparing LSS literature with best practice.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was sponsored by a grant from King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The first author is a recipient of PhD studentship award from King Abdulaziz University. The funding body has no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The authors would like to acknowledge the participants in the surveys for their valuable contribution to this research.

Citation

Albliwi, S.A., Antony, J., Arshed, N. and Ghadge, A. (2017), "Implementation of Lean Six Sigma in Saudi Arabian organisations: Findings from a survey", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 508-529. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQRM-09-2015-0138

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited