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1 – 10 of 28
Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Oskar Roemeling, Martin Land and Kees Ahaus

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the roles that employee-initiated Lean improvement projects play in health care. Lean ideas are introduced to improve flow in…

1680

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the roles that employee-initiated Lean improvement projects play in health care. Lean ideas are introduced to improve flow in health care. Although variability is detrimental to flow performance, it is unclear whether Lean initiatives set out to reduce this variability and the associated buffers.

Design/methodology/approach

Longitudinal field research is combined with an exploratory field-quasi-experiment. First, a large set of Lean interventions were explored and their focus classified. Semi-structured interviews with practitioners supported the initial findings regarding the focus. Second, this study investigated whether a knowledge deficiency could explain the identified focus through a quasi-experiment in which the authors’ stimulated knowledge on the roles of variability and buffers and then classified subsequent interventions.

Findings

The results reflected a narrow application of Lean, with most interventions directed at reducing direct waste. A quasi-experiment demonstrated that a small investment in knowledge enables the focus to shift toward buffers and variability issues – i.e. toward a more complete Lean approach.

Research limitations/implications

This research supports the commonly held view that there is a tendency to focus on waste. Furthermore, a lengthy experience of Lean does not guarantee interventions will focus on buffers and variability, issues with arguably a higher complexity compared to obvious waste. However, small investments in knowledge can broaden the focus of practitioners’ interventions.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to research the focus of Lean interventions through a data set spanning several years. The results are based on a unique data set covering a large number of documented Lean interventions.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Robbert-Jan van der Burg, Kees Ahaus, Hans Wortmann and George B. Huitema

Technological developments and new customer expectations of immediacy have driven businesses to adopt on-demand service models. The purpose of this paper is to study the…

5318

Abstract

Purpose

Technological developments and new customer expectations of immediacy have driven businesses to adopt on-demand service models. The purpose of this paper is to study the characteristics of a range of on-demand services in order to better understand the meaning of “on-demand” and its implications for service management. This enables the on-demand service logic to be applied to other service contexts, where it may add value for customers.

Design/methodology/approach

The study starts with a focused literature review and continues with a multiple case study methodology, as the on-demand service concept is in the early stages of theory development. Seven cases were studied, based on a maximum variation sampling strategy.

Findings

The results show that on-demand services are characterized by three interrelated characteristics: being highly available, responsive and scalable. Analysis further reveals that on-demand services display differences within the conceptual boundaries of these characteristics, i.e. they vary in terms of their availability, responsiveness and scalability.

Originality/value

Drawing on these findings, the study contributes to the service literature by being the first to specifically conceptualize and define the on-demand services concept and reveal three key characteristics that clarify the distinctive nature of this service type. Accordingly, on-demand services are clearly differentiated from other services. Additionally, the paper discusses the variety within on-demand services and develops an on-demand service continuum that gives detailed insights into the conceptual variations within such services.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1994

Kees Ahaus and Hen van de Water

Defining authority is a topic of current interest in quality management.The problem of insuffient definitions of authority appears in differentforms: overlap in authority…

1283

Abstract

Defining authority is a topic of current interest in quality management. The problem of insuffient definitions of authority appears in different forms: overlap in authority, a hiatus in the division of authority, insufficient balance between responsibility and authority, etc. Defines the concepts of structure, hierarchy, responsibility and authority. Describes managerial method to define authority: the TRA‐session (TRA = task, responsibility and authority). The TRA‐session is a method where, at a team meeting, the authority divisions for over 200 responsibility areas are discussed. For each responsibility area it is indicated who is/are authorized to take decisions and who is/are authorized to give advice. In the TRA‐session management is encouraged to delegate authority. Gives an illustration to show what the authority division concerning product development could look like.

Details

Training for Quality, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4875

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Werner Timans, Kees Ahaus and Jiju Antony

The purpose of this paper is to provide a demonstration of the application of techniques for robust optimization for improvement of the injection moulding processes in an…

1363

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a demonstration of the application of techniques for robust optimization for improvement of the injection moulding processes in an injection moulding small and medium sized enterprise (SME).

Design/methodology/approach

A critical to quality characteristic (CtQ) which is connected to assembly problems is the subject of investigation. The CtQ is not directly measurable. The variation in a dimension of a product, which is correlated to the CtQ, is studied using design of experiments (DoE) and Taguchi methods. A two-cavity mould is used in the injection moulding process. To evaluate the robustness of the process using signal-to-noise analysis, the data were transformed to compensate for the systematic differences between the mould cavities.

Findings

The initial results showed that finding optimal process parameter settings commonly valid for both cavities was impossible. After a modification of the mould, the experiments were rerun and optimal settings could be found.

Practical implications

Applying DoE techniques in small and medium-sized injection moulding companies is far from common practice. This case study demonstrates a method to apply DoE with five process parameters which can serve as a standard method to prepare production when a new mould is used for the first time.

Originality/value

The originality is connected to the combination of the applied methods and, in the context of the case study, carried out in an SME unfamiliar with the power of the applied methods. The value of the paper is to demonstrate the power of the most powerful technique in quality engineering to improve an injection moulding process within the context of SMEs. The authors would accentuate the point that the true power becomes visible when this powerful technique is introduced into an organization with very little understanding of the technique. In addition, the case study is valuable to practitioners because it proposes a new scientific and systematic approach to understand and optimize the start-up of the moulding process.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 May 2008

Henny van de Water, Kees Ahaus and Robert Rozier

The purpose of this study is to test the relationship between team composition and team performance by applying the construct of Ten Haaf, Bikker and Adriaanse.

16640

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to test the relationship between team composition and team performance by applying the construct of Ten Haaf, Bikker and Adriaanse.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a sample of 39 teams out of a population of 234 undergraduate MBA students. Four performance indices of each team were tested against the Ten Haaf et al. scores by using Spearman's rank test.

Findings

A statistical relation between team composition according to Ten Haaf et al. and team performance was not found. It is argued that Ten Haaf et al. and other authors do not use constructs according to Belbin's theory of balancing teams.

Research limitations/implications

There is need for a construct, which is isomorphic with Belbin's notions of team balancing. The relation between this construct and performance should be tested.

Practical implications

The current team balancing constructs in literature are of limited use. As the various constructs give differing assessments of balance these constructs should not be used. Implications are suggested for more prescriptive algorithms for designing balanced teams.

Originality/value

The team composition algorithm of Ten Haaf et al. has not been tested up to now with regard to team performance. The study amplifies on the ambiguity of the concept of team balance.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Monique Eissens-van der Laan, Manda Broekhuis, Marjolein van Offenbeek and Kees Ahaus

Applying “modularity” principles in services is gaining in popularity. The purpose of this paper is to enrich existing service modularity theory and practice by exploring…

1497

Abstract

Purpose

Applying “modularity” principles in services is gaining in popularity. The purpose of this paper is to enrich existing service modularity theory and practice by exploring how services are being decomposed and how the modularization aim and the routineness of the service(s) involved may link to different decomposition logics. The authors argue that these are fundamental questions that have barely been addressed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors first built a theoretical framework of decomposition steps and the design choices involved that distinguished six decomposition logics. The authors conducted a systematic literature search that generated 18 empirical articles describing 16 service modularity cases. The authors analysed these cases in terms of decomposition logic and two main contingencies: modularization aim and service routineness.

Findings

Only three of the 18 articles explicitly addressed the service decomposition by reflecting on the underlying design choices. By unravelling the decomposition in each case, the authors were able to identify the decomposition logic and found four of the six theoretically derived logics: single-level process oriented; single-level outcome oriented; multilevel outcome oriented; and multilevel combined orientation. Although the authors did not find a direct relationship between the modularization aim and the decomposition logic, the authors did find that single-level decomposition logics seem to be mainly applied in non-routine service offerings whereas the multilevel ones are mainly applied in routine service offerings.

Originality/value

By contributing to a common understanding of modular service decomposition and proposing a framework that explicates the design choices involved, the authors enable an enhanced application of the modularity concept in services.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

V. Raja Sreedharan and R. Raju

The purpose of this paper is to review Lean Six Sigma (LSS) literature and report different definitions, demographics, methodologies and industries.

4058

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review Lean Six Sigma (LSS) literature and report different definitions, demographics, methodologies and industries.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper highlights various definitions by different researchers and practitioners. A total of 235 research papers has been reviewed for the LSS theme, research methodology adopted, type of industry, author profile, country of research and year of publication.

Findings

From the review, four significant LSS classifications were identified that deal with the spread of LSS in different industries followed by observation for classification.

Practical implications

LSS is a strategy for success, but it did not examine its presence in various Industries. From this paper, readers can understand the quantum of its spread before implementing LSS. For academicians, it will be a comprehensive list of papers for research.

Originality/value

This paper reviews 235 research papers for their year, author profile, research methodology and type of industry. Various characteristics of LSS definitions and their theme are also reviewed.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Alessandro Laureani and Jiju Antony

Abstract

Details

Leading Lean Six Sigma
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-065-8

Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

J. Muraliraj, Suhaiza Zailani, S. Kuppusamy and C. Santha

Literature reviews are a pervasive aspect in research. An ever mounting field such as Lean Six Sigma requires a perpetual touch on the subject to accentuate insights that…

2665

Abstract

Purpose

Literature reviews are a pervasive aspect in research. An ever mounting field such as Lean Six Sigma requires a perpetual touch on the subject to accentuate insights that can be researched about. The purpose of this paper is to address the published literatures in the field of Lean Six Sigma through multiple criterion for an enhanced understanding of the subject matter through summarizing its current trends, uncovering existing literature gaps and revealing opportunities for future research in the field.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature review on Lean Six Sigma field spans around 17 years that includes peer-reviewed journals from management, business, engineering, healthcare, manufacturing, military among the many disciplines. The study uses a content analysis approach in which several dimensions of the literature were analysed: purpose or focus of study, years of publication, journal name or publications, methodologies, theories used, country of study, industry sub-sectors, active authors in the field, critical success factors, barriers and challenges and the most contribution of Lean Six Sigma papers by universities.

Findings

Eleven important findings from the analysis were summarized among them; the field of Lean Six Sigma had begun to grow significantly since the new millennium particularly after the 2004-2007 or 2008 period; standalone concepts of Lean and Six Sigma are highly researched compared to the integrated concepts; large proportion of perspective, conceptual and descriptive based studies; lack of empirical validity on the fusion between Lean and Six Sigma; lack of theoretical based studies, etc.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to 102 journals in commonly searched databases in the subject matter which produced 261 journal papers. This study seeks to broaden the summary of studies done under the keyword “Lean Six Sigma”.

Originality/value

The review analysis uses a content analysis approach in search of valuable gaps in existing research. The study found 261 papers from 102 journals that were published over the past seventeen years (2000-2016). This paper provides scholars, practitioners and managers with insights on the present trends and focus of Lean Six Sigma in addition to what else are lacking in the subject matter, which could pave the way for future research and practical endeavours.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 February 2021

Shruti J. Raval, Ravi Kant and Ravi Shankar

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is receiving a tremendous attention as a modern process of streaming to improve the organizational ability and customer satisfaction. A successful LSS…

Abstract

Purpose

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is receiving a tremendous attention as a modern process of streaming to improve the organizational ability and customer satisfaction. A successful LSS implementation is influenced by various factors and the execution of all the influencing factors simultaneously is a very difficult task for any organization. From the perspective of limitation of resources, this paper aims to present a basic issue in an LSS implementation of clustering complex and impacting factors into groups to achieve them in a stepwise manner. This paper aims to present a fundamental issue of clustering the complex and impacting factors of an LSS implementation into groups to achieve them stepwise.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 40 relevant influencing factors toward an LSS implementation have been identified from the extensive literature review and duly validated with experts’ opinions. Integrated fuzzy set theory and decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) approach are demonstrated to explore the causal relationships among influencing factors of the LSS implementation. An empirical case analysis of an Indian manufacturing organization is carried out to illustrate the utilization of the proposed model.

Findings

The proposed framework effectively finds out the significance of each influencing factor of an LSS implementation and clustered into cause–effect groups. As per the results of the empirical case analysis, ten critical success factors (CSFs) of the LSS implementation are evaluated for the successful LSS implementation. Top management pays more attention to achieve them and implement them in a phase-wise approach under the limitations of accessible resources.

Research limitations/implications

The presented framework provides an effective, precise and systematic decision support tool for recognizing CSFs of the LSS implementation. The organization, decision-makers, industrial practitioners and academic researchers may be able to comprehend the cause–effect relationship of the influencing factors of the LSS implementation. The exploratory nature and the single case study are two major limitations of this analysis. The developed model is heavily dependent on the experts’ opinions; hence, any bias in judgment will influence the final result.

Originality/value

This analysis is the first of its kind of effort, according to the best of the authors’ knowledge, to classify the influencing factors of LSS implementation into the cause–effect cluster. The outcomes of this analysis make the complexity of a problem easier in handling and assisting the decision-making.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

Keywords

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