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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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6917

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

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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…

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512

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

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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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1030

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

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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…

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3269

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

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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…

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2148

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

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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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Mrigendra Nath Mishra, Ashutosh Mohan and Arghya Sarkar

The purpose of this study is to explore the advantages and obstacles of implementing Lean Six Sigma in Indian MSMEs during or post-COVID-19. The following research also…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the advantages and obstacles of implementing Lean Six Sigma in Indian MSMEs during or post-COVID-19. The following research also elaborates on the challenges of implementing Lean Six Sigma in MSMEs in India, along with the changes in the culture that are required for providing a proper climate to ensure success in a long-term manner.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used in this study is a descriptive study, which explores and looks for the factors that influence the impulse or motivation to implement Lean Six Sigma in MSMEs and factors that inhibit the implementation of Lean Six Sigma. To achieve this goal of Lean Six Sigma, a significant review of the existing literature of the subject area has been done to prepare a framework with the help of inferential statistics in view of the critical success factors. This research is a flow and arranged a type of survey of organizations that is conducted using MS-Excel and SPSS 25.0 statistical software. The number of participants selected using a purposive sampling method in this study was 127 Lean Six Sigma experts and owners or CEOs of MSMEs in India.

Findings

Lean Six Sigma be used for facilitating the improvement processes in manufacturing operations, quality improvements and productivity. As some obstacles exist in implementing the Lean Six Sigma approach, the improvement processes and outcomes of change in the culture are noteworthy and worthwhile. The implementation of Lean Six Sigma has also some constraints, including cost limitations, skill limitations, limited facilities and other such limitations. The implementation of Lean Six Sigma during COVID-19 is not yet a matter of urgency or priority, and hence, cannot yet be applied.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents opinions of only a few selected professionals of Indian MSMEs. So it was a crucial aspect of capturing the views of such practitioners of their arrival on valid and sound conclusions.

Practical implications

The novelty of this research is to analyze the advantages and obstacles of implementing Lean Six Sigma in MSMEs during the COVID-19 in India. The results of this research can be used as scientific references for researchers who will conduct future research. Moreover, it can be guidance for MSMEs owners to make decisions in implementing Lean Six Sigma during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations assess all of their aspects such as perceive objectives, required qualities and shortcomings for fruitful implementation of any practice.

Originality/value

Several suggestions were made for the methods and thoughts, which will constitute a Lean Six Sigma organization. Hence, the research offers an excellent framework for both working professionals and academicians to understand the view of Indian MSMEs along with their benefits and obstacles of implementing Lean Six Sigma. So this study helps in laying out a platform for understanding the uses of Lean Six Sigma for process excellence in a new era due to COVID-19.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2021

Surya Prakash, Satish Kumar, Gunjan Soni, Raj V. Mahto and Nitesh Pandey

This study aims to present an overview of leading research trends in the lean six sigma domain published in the International Journal of Lean Six Sigma (IJLSS) since its inception.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present an overview of leading research trends in the lean six sigma domain published in the International Journal of Lean Six Sigma (IJLSS) since its inception.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyses articles published between 2010 and 2019 in IJLSS using the bibliometric technique. The results of data analysis identify the most prolific authors, their affiliation, citation trends and highly cited articles from the journal. Further, a graphical analysis involving bibliographic coupling and co-citation analysis of the corpus enriches the investigation.

Findings

The results of the bibliometric analysis suggest that the number of IJLSS’s publications and citations grew markedly over time (from 4 citations in 2010 to nearly 1,324 in 2019). The organizational diversity and collaboration among authors publishing in IJLSS are trending upwards. Case study and focus group are the two most common research designs in publications. In the study, three major themes emerged: implementation of lean on business, integration of lean and six sigma and the effects of lean six sigma on businesses.

Practical implications

The study finding informs and educates practitioners and scholars about various qualitative research tools, applications and methods of implementing lean six sigma tools in different industry sectors.

Originality/value

The study uses bibliometric analysis to propose a novel categorization of research published in IJLSS and to report on the utilization of various lean tools in the journal. The study provides guidance for new future research besides offering a thorough introspection of the lean and six sigma domains.

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
Publication date: 23 March 2021

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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