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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

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

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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

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2019

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…

594

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

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

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…

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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

Article
Publication date: 23 November 2012

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…

3503

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

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

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…

2319

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

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2022

Radouane Oudrhiri, Mustafa Al-Balushi, Stuart Anwyl, Anthony Bendell, Sabet Chamie, Shirley Yvonne Coleman, Mark Hayman, Roger Hilton, Osama Ahmad Melhem, Jayeshkumat Patel, Steve Ward, Simon White and Peter Whitehouse

This paper gives the background to the ISO 18404:2015 standard and explains its rationale. It aims to correct misconceptions and erroneous statements about the standard…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper gives the background to the ISO 18404:2015 standard and explains its rationale. It aims to correct misconceptions and erroneous statements about the standard appearing in the paper by Antony et al. (2021) and to demonstrate the usefulness of the standard in a wide range of application sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of recently reported misconceptions and erroneous statements is presented and clarifications are provided. A qualitative interview approach was utilised to obtain the views of leading academics and practitioners familiar with Six Sigma and Lean in a range of sectors and from different parts of the world. This includes the results of a survey for capturing expectations and requirements for the next ISO18404 version.

Findings

Clarifications were needed to correct some misconceptions and erroneous statements in recently published work. However, on review, the reports of the interviews in Antony et al. (2021) indicate that most Lean Six Sigma professionals have positive experiences with ISO 18404:2015 and see the advantages of a common standard in helping continuous improvement deployment. Possible causes of some reported negative results are already scheduled to be addressed in the forthcoming review of ISO 18404:2015.

Research limitations/implications

A very real constraint when conducting research into ISO 18404:2015 is to obtain a balanced view of the standard from those who have a vested interest in its continuation and evolution, or not. Whilst the authors cannot claim to be any more objective than Antony et al.’s (2021) authors and commentators, they are, in contrast to that group, highly knowledgeable about the reality of the standard, rather than speculating in ignorance.

Practical implications

A very real constraint when conducting research into ISO 18404:2015 is to obtain a balanced view of the standard which is balanced with respect from those who have a vested interest in its continuation and evolution, or not. Whilst the current authors cannot claim to be any more objective than previous authors, Antony et al.’s (2021) authors and commentators, they are, in contrast to that group, highly knowledgeable about the reality of the standard, rather than speculating in ignorance.

Originality/value

The paper gives a clear description of the ISO standard development process and provides a resource for people to obtain insight into the value or non-value add of a standard in Six Sigma and Lean, 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 or not to implement it.

Details

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

Keywords

Abstract

Details

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

Article
Publication date: 3 February 2022

Noor Muhammad, Arvind Upadhyay, Anil Kumar and Hasan Gilani

This article shows operational excellence achieved during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic using the Lean, Six Sigma and Sustainability practices in small…

Abstract

Purpose

This article shows operational excellence achieved during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic using the Lean, Six Sigma and Sustainability practices in small medium enterprise (SME) manufacturing firms and its impact on the performance dimensions of efficiency, growth and profit for firms located in the industrial zones of Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative methodology was used and data were collected from a sample of top-level managers from 28 SME manufacturing firms located in the five industrial zones in Pakistan. A total of 62 questionnaires were included in the study.

Findings

The findings show that awareness levels of Lean, Six Sigma and Sustainability are emerging, and firms are trying to implement these concepts. However, the results show that while Lean and Six Sigma enhance firms’ performance in terms of efficiency, profit and growth, sustainability has no impact on these three performance dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

The quantitative data of a sample of 28 manufacturing firms inevitably present limitations on the generalizability of this work. Future research could employ greater quantitative data to explore the topic further. Only one particular country is studied so that future research could be carried out in other countries or regions.

Practical implications

This study may have value for policymakers and other stakeholders who need to know more about how Lean, Six Sigma and Sustainability affect a firm’s performance in industrial zones in the context of a developing country.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to knowledge in the field by integrating Lean, Six Sigma and Sustainability with firms’ performance during the COVID-19 pandemic by assessing efficiency, growth and profit dimensions where otherwise no empirical research has been undertaken in the Pakistani context.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 October 2021

Choon Ling Sim, Zeyun Li, Francis Chuah, Yi Jin Lim and Kit Yeng Sin

With the growing pressure to gain optimum level of quality and speed, Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practices have drawn considerable attention as a viable alternative for process…

Abstract

Purpose

With the growing pressure to gain optimum level of quality and speed, Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practices have drawn considerable attention as a viable alternative for process improvement. However, previous studies revealed that there is very little systematic and rigorous research to validate the claims. In this regard, this paper aims to empirically examine the effect of LSS practices on quality performance in the medical device manufacturing industry.

Design/methodology/approach

For this study, partial least square–based structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to empirically examine the effect of LSS practices on quality performance in Malaysian medical device manufacturing industry.

Findings

The findings of this paper revealed that LSS practices have a significant and positive effect on quality performance in the medical device manufacturing industry.

Practical implications

This paper will serve as a valuable implication for industry practitioners in providing them with a clearer managerial direction to exploit the strength of LSS practices to achieve company’s quality goals. Moreover, this study will serve as a basis for future LSS scholars, providing them with valuable insights and directions for future research.

Originality/value

This paper develops a conceptual LSS framework that captures the integrated nature of two methodologies and provides empirical evidence that supports the positive influence of LSS practices on quality performance; hence, it contributes to the growing body of LSS literature in both theoretical and empirical sense.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 July 2021

Alex Kuiper, Robert H. Lee, Vincent J.J. van Ham and Ronald J.M.M. Does

The purpose of this study is to reflect upon the ramifications of two decades of Lean Six Sigma implementations in Dutch healthcare institutions in the light of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to reflect upon the ramifications of two decades of Lean Six Sigma implementations in Dutch healthcare institutions in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors provide an evaluation of the impact that Lean Six Sigma implementations have had on the ability of Dutch healthcare institutions to respond adequately to healthcare needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

Findings

Process improvement in healthcare has had a tendency to cut capacity and flexibility which are needed to deal with excessive demand shocks, such as during a pandemic. The main reason for this failure seems to be an overly strong focus on cost reduction instigated by Lean Six Sigma during stable times.

Research limitations/implications

Besides the research method being an inferential procedure, the research focuses on the Netherlands and so the generalizability might be limited. However, using Lean Six Sigma to improve healthcare processes has found broad acceptance, so the implications may well carry over to other countries.

Practical implications

The authors call for a more comprehensive approach of process improvement within healthcare that takes flexibility and buffering in anticipation of excess variability and disruption into greater account. Therefore, this study provides a new perspective on how and to which aim Lean Six Sigma should be applied in healthcare.

Originality/value

An assessment is given of the impact of Lean Six Sigma implementations on the ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This is done by identifying the focus points of improvement projects and considering the impact on the resilience of healthcare operations.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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