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Article

The purpose of this study was to examine patterns in the research contributions from individuals in the field to detect whether they reflect the evolution of academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine patterns in the research contributions from individuals in the field to detect whether they reflect the evolution of academic discussion concerning integration of Lean and Six Sigma methodology over a fixed time period.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was gathered from a keyword search of articles in the SCOBUS data base to determine the most frequent contributors in the areas of Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma research. Searches were carried out over five-yearly intervals from 2000 to 2015 and the twenty-one top contributors in each time period were identified.

Findings

The findings show that research contributions have moved away from looking at the single methodologies of Lean and Six Sigma and towards research based on the integrated Lean Six Sigma approach. The analysis also suggested that researchers may be publishing papers using different methodologies in response to different challenges in selecting the most appropriate tools to meet the needs of the specific issues they are addressing rather than advocating a particular approach.

Practical implications

For organizations to optimize performance a flexible approach would be beneficial with consideration being given to the specific issue and the correct tools and methodology selected from an integrated system or from Lean or Six Sigma systems alone.

Originality/value

This paper has originality in its’ consideration of the patterns of research contributions over a fixed time period as a reflection of the shift in debate from exclusive Lean or Six Sigma approaches to a more integrated Lean Six Sigma system.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest , vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

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Article

Susan Knapp

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between four organizational cultural types defined by the Competing Values Framework and three Lean Six Sigma

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between four organizational cultural types defined by the Competing Values Framework and three Lean Six Sigma implementation components – management involvement, use of Lean Six Sigma methods and Lean Six Sigma infrastructure.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved surveying 446 human resource and quality managers from 223 hospitals located in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument.

Findings

In total, 104 completed responses were received and analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance. Follow-up analysis of variances showed management support was significant, F(3, 100)=4.89, p < 0.01, η2=1.28; infrastructure was not significant, F(3, 100)=1.55, p=0.21, η2=0.05; and using Lean Six Sigma methods was also not significant, F(3, 100)=1.34, p=0.26, η2=0.04. Post hoc analysis identified group and development cultures having significant interactions with management support.

Practical implications

The relationship between organizational culture and Lean Six Sigma in hospitals provides information on how specific cultural characteristics impact the Lean Six Sigma initiative key components. This information assists hospital staff who are considering implementing quality initiatives by providing an understanding of what cultural values correspond to effective Lean Six Sigma implementation.

Originality/value

Managers understanding the quality initiative cultural underpinnings, are attentive to the culture-shared values and norm’s influence can utilize strategies to better implement Lean Six Sigma.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

Keywords

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Article

Vijaya Sunder M.

The purpose of this paper is to present the corporate views of the commonalities and differences between two of the most powerful methodologies for process improvement in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the corporate views of the commonalities and differences between two of the most powerful methodologies for process improvement in organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken was to collate the viewpoints from various corporate professionals. Participants were chosen from different countries across the globe, with a median experience of 10 years as a quality professional with expertise in the field of both Lean and Six Sigma.

Findings

Thirty-one key points have been highlighted as findings, as a summary of viewpoints provided by the participants. Fourteen commonalities and 17 differences between Six Sigma and Lean were identified. Key findings were grouped under four categories – Approach, Customer, Focus and Organisation.

Research limitations/implications

The corporate opinions expressed in the paper are those of a few professionals selected for the study. It is important to capture the viewpoints of more such practitioners to arrive at sound and valid conclusions.

Originality/value

The paper provides an excellent platform for both academicians and working professionals to understand the corporate views of commonalities and differences between the two powerful process improvement methodologies. The paper lays a platform for researchers to understand the applications of Six Sigma and Lean for process excellence.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article

Alessandro Laureani and Jiju Antony

Identification of critical success factors (CSFs) for any continuous improvement initiative is important as it allows organisations to focus their efforts on these factors…

Abstract

Purpose

Identification of critical success factors (CSFs) for any continuous improvement initiative is important as it allows organisations to focus their efforts on these factors to ensure a success. The purpose of this paper is to present the CSFs for the effective implementation of Lean Six Sigma and to analyze the implementation of Lean Six Sigma, focusing on the CSFs identified in the literature, through a survey of companies, geographically dispersed, from both the manufacturing and service industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken by authors in this study has two fundamental parts. The first part was to analyse the current literature on CSFs for all continuous improvement initiatives such as TQM, Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma. The second part was to design a survey questionnaire based on the literature. The questionnaire was sent to 600 companies (both manufacturing and service) and the response rate is approximately 17 per cent.

Findings

Analysis of key findings highlighted that the most important factors are: management commitment, cultural change, linking Lean Six Sigma to business strategy and leadership styles. The results also revealed that the least important factors are linking Six Sigma to HR rewards and extending Lean Six Sigma to supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

A sample size of 101 companies is not sufficient to generalise our key findings. This will be rectified by carrying out further surveys in the forthcoming months and making this investigation a longitudinal study. Moreover, the authors have to execute semi‐structured interviews to obtain a better understanding of the current practice of Lean Six Sigma in participating organisations. An online survey was administered for this study; however future semi‐structured interviews with employees in those companies would enable one to have a better understanding of their practice of Lean Six Sigma programmes.

Originality/value

Although there are a number of papers published on CSFs of Lean and Six Sigma, it was found that there is a dearth of literature on CSFs of Lean Six Sigma implementation. The authors also compare and contrast the CSFs in both manufacturing and service organisations. The results showed what the most and least important factors are for a successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma, providing valuable insights for organizations which will be embarking on this journey.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article

Jiju Antony, Bryan Rodgers and E.V. Gijo

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the widespread but fragmented application of Lean Six Sigma within the UK public sector, providing the context of some of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the widespread but fragmented application of Lean Six Sigma within the UK public sector, providing the context of some of the challenges faced within the sector as well as some of the successful applications of Lean Six Sigma. The paper fundamentally seeks to challenge the concept that Lean Six Sigma is not suitable for use in the public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

A summary of the challenges facing the public sector is shown from current literature and this is presented as drivers for change. A number of successful applications of Lean Six Sigma are then evidenced demonstrating examples across areas of the public sector.

Findings

This paper concludes that while Lean Six Sigma is applicable to the UK public sector additional work is required to better evidence the benefits and return on investment that can be delivered as well as considering more holistic approaches on an agency wide basis.

Research limitations/implications

This paper seeks to contribute to and broaden the limited body of evidence of the applicability of Lean Six Sigma to the UK public sector and identifies areas for further research and review.

Practical implications

Understanding the applicability of Lean Six Sigma affords opportunities to public sector agencies in the current budget climate but additionally affords ways in which quality of service can be enhanced. In some cases, it provides opportunities to meet new statutory requirements around community empowerment.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the body of evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of Lean Six Sigma within the public sector and suggests opportunity for those agencies to meet funding challenges faced across the UK.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 65 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article

Jiju Antony, Olivia McDermott, Michael Sony, Elizabeth A. Cudney, Ronald D. Snee and Roger W. Hoerl

This paper aims to present and summarise the arguments for and against the ISO 18404 standard and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of implementing it.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present and summarise the arguments for and against the ISO 18404 standard and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of implementing it.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative interview approach was utilised by interviewing a panel of leading academics and practitioners familiar with Lean Six Sigma.

Findings

The results indicate that Lean Six Sigma professionals have conflicting opinions on ISO 18404. An overwhelming majority of the panel questioned the “quality” of the standard and whether it is “fit for purpose”, while others see the advantages of a common standard in helping continuous improvement deployment.

Research limitations/implications

As the standard has not been widely adopted, there were limited examples on ISO 18404 discussion in the literature. Much of the current literature focuses on the theoretical application of the standard, with sparse practical examples providing case study deployment. Also, the interviews were short and at a high level. There is an opportunity for further study and analysis. It was difficult to find qualified interviewees who were familiar with the standard. A very real constraint when conducting research into ISO 18404 is to obtain a balanced view of the standard from those who have a vested interest in its continuation and evolution, or not.

Originality/value

The paper provides a resource for people to obtain insight into the value or non-value add of a standard in Lean Six Sigma and the appropriate details of such a standard. These results can form the basis of a case for the implementation of the standard for those organisations currently trying to decide whether to implement it or not.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article

Mohammad Alnadi and Patrick McLaughlin

This paper aims to provide a synthesis of the results of the previous literature on leadership behaviours that enable successful Lean Six Sigma implementation.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a synthesis of the results of the previous literature on leadership behaviours that enable successful Lean Six Sigma implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The published literature that relates to leadership and Lean Six Sigma has been included. A thematic analysis was conducted on the previous literature which helped in identifying the relevant aspects and associating the behaviours with specific aspects.

Findings

After analysing the literature, seven key aspects have emerged: communication, culture of continuous improvement, coaching and developing employees, creating vision and aligning goals, employee motivation, employee empowerment and leadership commitment and support. The main leadership behaviours that facilitate and support Lean Six Sigma implementation have been summarised.

Originality/value

Thematic analysis in this field is scarce, so identifying the leadership behaviours’ themes can help researchers in developing a framework of leadership behaviours. Organisations and practitioners of Lean Six Sigma can take into consideration these behaviours as a key to the successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma. They can adjust their behaviours and know the behaviours that need to be developed amongst leaders. This would facilitate the Lean Six Sigma journey by overcoming the challenges that face practitioners during Lean Six Sigma implementation.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article

Anand S. Patel and Kaushik M. Patel

This paper aims to develop an initial understanding of the Lean Six Sigma methodology since its inception and examine the few Lean Six Sigma dimensions as a research…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop an initial understanding of the Lean Six Sigma methodology since its inception and examine the few Lean Six Sigma dimensions as a research domain through a critical review of the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is structured in two-part. The first part of the paper attempts to dwell on the evolution of the Lean Philosophy and Six Sigma methodology individually and the emergence of Lean Six Sigma methodology, covered under the Lean Six Sigma: a historical outline section. The second part of the study examines the dimensions associated with Lean Six Sigma such as frameworks, critical success factors, critical failure factors, type of industry, performance metric, year, publisher and journal, based on a total of 223 articles published in 72 reputed journals from the year 2000 to 2019 as a literature review.

Findings

The adoption of Lean Six Sigma, as a continuous improvement methodology, has grown enormously in the manufacturing and few service sectors such as health care and higher education during the past decade. The study revealed that researchers came out with conceptual frameworks for the implementation of Lean Six Sigma, whereas the validation through case studies seems to be lacking. The integration of Lean Six Sigma and other approaches with a focus on sustainability and the environment has emerged as a research field. A few of the most common critical success and failure factors were identified from the articles studied during the study.

Research limitations/implications

This paper may not have included some of the studies due to the inaccessibility and selection criteria followed for the study.

Originality/value

This paper will provide an initial introduction on Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma and research insights Lean Six Sigma to beginners such as students, researchers and entry-level professionals.

Details

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

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Lean Six Sigma in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-929-8

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Article

Neeraj Yadav, Ravi Shankar and Surya Prakash Singh

This paper compares impact of Industry 4.0 / emerging information and communication Technologies (ICTs), for example, Internet of things (IOT), machine learning…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper compares impact of Industry 4.0 / emerging information and communication Technologies (ICTs), for example, Internet of things (IOT), machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and cloud computing, on 22 organisational performance indicators under nine combinations of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and quality management systems (QMS).

Design/methodology/approach

Survey of 105 Indian organisations was done about their experience of using QMS, Lean Six Sigma and emerging ICTs. Respondents included both manufacturing and service enterprises of different scales and sectors. The responses collected were compared, and statistically significant difference among them was evaluated using chi-square test.

Findings

The study confirmed statistically significant difference among 20 organisational performance indicators under different combinations of QMS, LSS and ICTs. These indicators include quality performance, delivery performance, sales turnover, inventory level and so forth. However, for two indicators, namely, absenteeism and throughput, significant difference in responses was not established.

Research limitations/implications

All possible combinations of QMS, LSS, only LSS tools and ICTs were not studied because of either theoretical impossibility (e.g. using LSS without LSS tools) or practically rare situations (e.g. organisations using ICTs and LSS without QMS). Furthermore, the impact from different sequences of implementing QMS, LSS and ICTs can be studied.

Practical implications

Using this study, practitioners can identify which LSS, Quality System and ICT combination results in best performance and quick success. On theoretical front, the study confirms impact of LSS and QMS on organisational performance.

Originality/value

This study evaluates organisational performance under several possible combinations of QMS, LSS, and emerging ICTs, which was so far unexplored.

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