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Analysis of research trends and constructs in context to lean six sigma frameworks

Gunjan Yadav (Mechanical Engineering Department, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India)
Dinesh Seth (Mechanical and Industrial Department, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Tushar N. Desai (Mechanical Engineering Department, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The literature of lean six sigma (LSS) is flooded with frameworks. But to date, there has been no attempt to expose the inconsistencies in the existing frameworks and associated research trends. The purpose of this paper is to critically review 26 LSS frameworks and highlight inconsistencies. The study also helps in analysing research trends and constructs of LSS frameworks, and facilitates new applications.


It uses Scopus database and finalises 26 frameworks in the LSS domain considering a timeframe from 2000 to 2017, using a structured literature review approach and involving domain experts. It uses a battery of systematic requirements-based questions to understand trends and covers building blocks/constructs also.


It reveals inconsistencies at three different stages, namely, the framework stage, usage stage capturing existing research trends and construct stage. It also offers details at building block/construct level. Thus, it offers guidance in reducing inconsistencies and possible modifications in the existing frameworks. It not only exposes existing constructs and sub-constructs but also guides about the new upcoming changes in the business influencing the LSS domain. It also educates about the strengths and weaknesses of each framework.

Research limitations/implications

This study tries to reduce inconsistencies, but does not offer new generalised or sector-specific framework.

Practical implications

This study will assist for modification/corrections in the existing frameworks by reducing inconsistencies and will encourage new frameworks to facilitate applications.


This is a unique study which offers frameworks-based review, portrays research trends and guides about constructs of a framework by exposing inconsistencies at each stage. It helps in reducing inconsistencies and offers guidance regarding modifications in the LSS framework considering upcoming challenges.



The authors wish to express their sincerest thanks to the learned referees for supporting this research and their constructive criticisms that led to the considerable improvements of the earlier versions of this study. The authors also wish to put on record the indebtedness to the chief editor professor Harm-Jan Steenhuis for his timely help and giving the authors an opportunity to revise the paper.


Yadav, G., Seth, D. and Desai, T.N. (2017), "Analysis of research trends and constructs in context to lean six sigma frameworks", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 794-821.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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