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Article

Cristina Alcaide-Muñoz and Leopoldo J. Gutierrez-Gutierrez

The aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between Six Sigma methodology and organisational ambidexterity (exploitation and exploration orientations). For this…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between Six Sigma methodology and organisational ambidexterity (exploitation and exploration orientations). For this purpose, this study describes how Six Sigma practices may enhance both orientations simultaneously, contributing to organisational ambidexterity and performance improvements.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review was adopted as the research methodology. The authors analysed 512 publications in Social Science Citation Index journals in fields such as management, business, operation research management science, planning development, behavioural sciences, interdisciplinary social sciences and applied psychology from 1987 to 2016, as the first development and adoption of Six Sigma was in 1987 by Motorola.

Findings

This analysis describes how Six Sigma emphasises not only useful practices for exploitation orientation, such as customer input, design for manufacturability or improvement and control of processes, but also explorative practices, such as discovery, novelty or innovation. Consequently, an adequate combination of all these practices may enhance organisational ambidexterity and organisational success.

Research limitations/implications

This study relies exclusively on previously published literature that fulfilled the selection criteria described in the search methodology. Further empirical research is necessary to test the propositions included in this paper.

Practical implications

This study has important implications for academics, practitioners and employers, as it furnishes new theoretical insights to the scarce literature that studies the relationship between quality management practices and organisational ambidexterity. The authors provide a better understanding of Six Sigma philosophy and some fresh and new insight on how Six Sigma practices may help organisation develop distinctive competitive competences by its influence over exploration and exploitation orientations (ambidexterity). Therefore, it might be of interest to those practitioners interested in achieving a successful competitive position and discover emerging business opportunities, as it may provide some guidance on the important implication of Six Sigma practices over exploration and exploitation orientations.

Originality/value

This study provides new insights into the non-existent literature about Six Sigma and organisational ambidexterity and to the scarce literature about quality management and ambidexterity. Propositions on how Six Sigma practices benefit organisational ambidexterity are also suggested.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article

Ignacio Tamayo-Torres, Leopoldo J. Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, Francisco Javier Llorens-Montes and Francisco J. Martínez-López

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the roles played by organizational learning (OL) and innovation in organizations immersed in the processes of adaptation and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the roles played by organizational learning (OL) and innovation in organizations immersed in the processes of adaptation and strategic fit in dynamic and turbulent environments. The authors analyze whether OL and innovation act as sources of strategic fit, and whether strategic fit positively affects performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data from a survey of a representative sample of 204 respondents from European firms active in high-technology sectors (response rate: 10.42 percent) and structural equation modeling (using the EQS 6.1 program) to undertake a transversal study.

Findings

The model confirms that OL and the capacity to innovate positively influence managers’ decisions to adapt their organizations to changes in dynamic environments. The achievement of strategic fit, in turn, improves organizational performance. The authors propose considering the innovation climate as a facilitator of new product and process development, although the innovation climate is not a direct antecedent of fit.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by the fact that the analysis is cross-sectional and by the fact that all measures used are based on managers’ perceptions.

Practical implications

Managers should create and support an entrepreneurial culture that stresses continuous learning. They should also foster programs aimed at developing abilities, and promote the development of capabilities that facilitate acceptance of organizational change. Investments in building certain capabilities, such as OL and the capacity to innovate, are strategically justified, especially in turbulent environments.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to investigate the complex interactions among OL, innovation, strategic fit, and performance. The results improve our understanding of the links between strategic fit and performance.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 116 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Leopoldo J. Gutierrez-Gutierrez, Vanesa Barrales-Molina and Hale Kaynak

The purpose of this paper is to adopt the dynamic capability (DC) view as a theoretical framework to empirically investigate the relationships among human resource…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to adopt the dynamic capability (DC) view as a theoretical framework to empirically investigate the relationships among human resource (HR)-related quality management (QM) practices: new product development (NPD) as a specific DC, learning orientation, knowledge integration, and strategic flexibility. Learning orientation and knowledge integration represent two antecedents of strategic flexibility, and strategic flexibility is the developed ability that facilitates NPD.

Design/methodology/approach

To empirically test the relationships, the authors used data from 236 European firms and performed structural equation modeling.

Findings

Results indicate that HR-related QM practices contribute to creating a learning-oriented company, integrating knowledge, and supporting successful NPD. Furthermore, knowledge integration is positively related to NPD through strategic flexibility.

Practical implications

This study is relevant for practitioners because it identifies key points in QM implementation that enable firms to be more strategically flexible and thus better able to regularly develop new products.

Originality/value

When organizations must sustain their competitive positions by continuously adapting to environmental changes, it is important to study not only how QM implementation is positively related to the firm performance on which a significant portion of the QM literature has focused but also to study whether QM implementation is related to strategic variables and can make a contribution to strategic processes. To fill the void in the HR and QM literature, this study offers an integrated framework with empirical support that identifies the role of HR-related QM practices in learning orientation, knowledge integration, strategic flexibility, and NPD.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article

Ahmad Herzallah, Leopoldo J. Gutierrez-Gutierrez and Juan Francisco Munoz Rosas

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between quality ambidexterity (QAMB), competitive strategies (cost leadership, differentiation, and focus), and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between quality ambidexterity (QAMB), competitive strategies (cost leadership, differentiation, and focus), and firm performance in Palestinian industry, and to analyze the combination of quality exploitation (QEI) and quality exploration (QER) (QAMB) associated with the different levels of each competitive strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data collected through a survey of 205 Palestinian industrial firms, the study conducted structural equation modeling to test the proposed relationships. Additional statistical analyses were applied to the combinations of QEI and QER for each competitive strategy.

Findings

The results show a positive and significant relationship between QAMB and three competitive strategies, and between competitive strategies and financial performance, focus strategy excepted. Balanced combination with similar levels of QEI and QER is found to be more suitable for higher levels of competitive strategies implementation, whereas an excess of QER over QEI is associated with lower levels of strategies implementation.

Research limitations/implications

Although Palestine has two regions, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, all survey respondents were from the West Bank. The data used in this study come from the industrial sector only.

Originality/value

This study is the first empirical test to examine the impact of QAMB on financial performance through competitive strategies. The study results may help managers to implement QEI and QER practices in order to allocate resources effectively and ultimately improve financial performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article

Leopoldo J. Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, F.J. Lloréns‐Montes and Óscar F. Bustinza Sánchez

The purpose of this paper is to extend understanding of the success of the six sigma quality management initiative by investigating the effects of six sigma teamwork and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend understanding of the success of the six sigma quality management initiative by investigating the effects of six sigma teamwork and statistical process control (SPC) on organizational‐shared vision.

Design/methodology/approach

The information used comes from a larger study, the data for which were collected from a random sample of 237 European firms. Of these 237 organizations, 58 have implemented six sigma. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The main findings show that six sigma teamwork and SPC positively affect the development of organizational‐shared vision. A positive but not significant influence is also observed between shared vision and organizational performance.

Research limitations/implications

Positive effects found in this study should be investigated further employing a larger sample of six sigma firms and including other variables such as organizational learning. Further, the effects of these variables on performance should be measured with real results from firms to test possible direct and indirect influence on performance.

Practical implications

The findings of this study offer a justification of six sigma implementation in firms. This study provides the authors with an in‐depth understanding of some structural elements that characterize the six sigma methodology, enabling the authors to provide an explanation for its success.

Originality/value

There is little empirical research on the positive effects of six sigma implementation and even less that explains the success of six sigma initiatives. This paper contributes to filling this gap. It also contributes to emerging literature on how the development of shared vision affects organizational performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article

Vanesa Barrales-Molina, Francisco Javier Llorens Montes and Leopoldo J Gutierrez-Gutierrez

The purpose of this paper is to explain the outcomes and role of dynamic capabilities (DCs). To explain the outcomes, the authors study the relationship between new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the outcomes and role of dynamic capabilities (DCs). To explain the outcomes, the authors study the relationship between new product development (NPD) (an example of DCs) and metaflexibility. To explain the role of DCs, the authors study how human resources and operating routines moderate the role of DCs in achieving adaptation in the firm.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from 200 managers of Spanish firms, the authors apply regression analysis to test the moderating role of human resources and operating routines in the relationship between NPD and metaflexibility.

Findings

The results demonstrate that highly qualified and committed workers enhance the effectiveness of NPD, while high frequency in repetition of operating routines significantly damages such effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to analysing a unique DC (NPD), but future research could explore contributions on other consolidated DCs (e.g. alliance management capability) and compare results. Also, the database on managerial perceptions rather than objective measures.

Practical implications

Managers who must address environmental changes should connect generation of DCs to complementary functional strategies, especially human resources strategy.

Originality/value

This paper suggests additional outcomes derived from DCs, such as metaflexibility. It attempts to understand the complex process by which DCs interact to modify operating routines in order to respond to environmental changes.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 115 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Dainelis Cabeza Pullés, Leopoldo J. Gutiérrez Gutiérrez and F. Javier Lloréns‐Montes

The purpose of this paper is to study how transactive memory systems (TMS) facilitate the transfer and absorption of knowledge in the presence of quality management (QM…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how transactive memory systems (TMS) facilitate the transfer and absorption of knowledge in the presence of quality management (QM) within a university research and development (R&D) environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The data come from a simple random sampling of 257 Spanish university R&D groups in nine different areas of knowledge. To verify the hypotheses, the authors used multiple linear regression analysis with a moderating effect.

Findings

The conclusions show that the relationship between knowledge transfer (KT) and TMS is significant when QM practices are included as a moderating variable but that this is not the case for knowledge absorption (KA), which does not show any effect.

Research limitations/implications

The effects described were found in a sample composed of various R&D sectors taken from a single country and not distributed equally. Further, the perception analyzed represents the judgment of a single manager.

Practical implications

It is interesting to study this interaction in university R&D because of the important role R&D plays in the development of regions. Improving the internal processes of this research helps to make its results more competitive. This study contributes information on non‐business management and introduces university R&D to the use of QM practices.

Originality/value

The authors found no studies that test empirically the moderating effect of QM practices on the relationships studied in university R&D. The paper's results contribute information to help fill this gap and demonstrate once again that QM practices can be applied to any environment.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 113 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Leopoldo Gutierrez-Gutierrez and Jiju Antony

This study aims to analyse the existing literature on continuous improvement (CI) initiatives and dynamic capabilities (DCs) development to explore the question whether CI…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyse the existing literature on continuous improvement (CI) initiatives and dynamic capabilities (DCs) development to explore the question whether CI initiatives foster development of DCs in organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review (SLR) was undertaken. Four databases were included in the structured searches (EBSCOhost, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, ProQuest and Emerald Insight), 19 studies were finally included and analysed in detail.

Findings

The results obtained identify issues such as a growing trend in the publication of studies, the dominant position of the USA and the predominance of empirical papers. The literature was classified according to whether it presents CI as a DC in itself, as an enabler of DC or as a result of the DC. The main critical success factors to be implemented in CI initiatives (CII) were also identified, to enhance the development of DCs. Finally, based on the analysis of the specific DC literature, ten theoretical propositions for possible future research have been developed.

Originality/value

CII such as Lean Management, Six Sigma and Total Quality Management have been widely implemented in organisations. Despite their reputation, the effects of these initiatives on long-term benefits remain debated, this motivates the SLR of CII and DC. The DC theory tackles the question of how firms can sustain their advantage and profits in the long term, making this perspective ideal for tackling controversy on the benefits of CII.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article

Leopoldo Gutierrez-Gutierrez, Vanesa Barrales-Molina, Marisel Fernandez-Giordano and Beatriz López-Morales

Once the operational benefits of Six Sigma are well-recognized in the literature, this research advances the strategic advantages of this initiative. Thus, this paper aims…

Abstract

Purpose

Once the operational benefits of Six Sigma are well-recognized in the literature, this research advances the strategic advantages of this initiative. Thus, this paper aims to analyze how dynamic capabilities (DCs) mediates the relationship between Six Sigma implementation and organizational flexibility, not discussed in the literature yet.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 66 Six Sigma European firms are used for a structural equation modeling and additional tests –Baron and Kenny’s test and Preacher and Hayes’s test – to analyze the mediating role of DCs. Following the scholars’ recommendations, the authors have created a second-order factor explained by knowledge absorption, organizational learning and knowledge integration to measure DCs. Flexibility, understood as the capacity for organizational adaptation, is measured through its operational and strategic dimensions.

Findings

The results show a significant relationship between Six Sigma practices – team management and statistical metrics – and DCs. In addition, the authors find support for a significant relationship between DCs and the operational and strategic dimensions of flexibility. Finally, the results confirm that DCs act as a mediating variable in the relationship between Six Sigma practices and flexibility.

Practical implications

The study contributes to literature that supports the decision to implement Six Sigma. In particular, key Six Sigma practices are identified for those managers who wish to foster DCs generation and organizational flexibility inside their companies.

Originality/value

This research analyzes the relationship between Six Sigma and strategic variables, answering the call for research about Six Sigma influence on long-term organizational success.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article

Leopoldo Gutierrez-Gutierrez, Sander de Leeuw and Ruud Dubbers

This paper aims to analyze the application of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) framework for supporting continuous improvement (CI) in logistics services. Both the lean philosophy and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the application of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) framework for supporting continuous improvement (CI) in logistics services. Both the lean philosophy and the Six Sigma methodology have become two of the most important initiatives for CI in organizations. The combination of both alternatives – LSS – brings significant benefits for companies applying this method, and its influence in logistics services can be relevant.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study on the logistics services of a large consumer electronics company is performed. In this sector, high quality in logistics services is crucial. Using within-case and cross-case analyses, the paper discusses the implementation of LSS in two internal logistics processes.

Findings

The paper identifies important implementation aspects when applying LSS to logistics services, such as CI structure, strategic analysis, cross-functional teams and process management. Furthermore, the paper discusses the potential in logistics services of the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve and control) approach and tools such as value stream mapping, SIPOC (supplier, input, process, output, and customer) and process mapping.

Practical implications

The paper analyzes two logistics processes where LSS has been applied – a payment process and a request-to-ship process. The analysis of both processes offers relevant information about organizational implementation in a logistics services environment about process improvement and about the use of LSS tools.

Originality/value

First, this paper addresses the gap in literature about LSS and logistics’ activities. Furthermore, the case company, with more than 9,000 employees and distributing its products to more than 100 countries, constitutes a valuable source of information to obtain insights into the implications of implementing LSS in logistics services.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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