Innovation in management system by Six Sigma: an empirical study of world-class companies
ABSTRACT Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the effectiveness of Six Sigma as an innovation tool in management system. In this regard, the comprehensive impact of Six Sigma is provided based on Osada's management system model in terms of driver, enabler, and performance. Then, the causal relationship diagram is drawn among critical success factors to show how Six Sigma innovates the management system. Finally, the comparison between Six Sigma and total quality management (TQM) is discussed to reveal the strength of Six Sigma as an innovation tool in management system. Design/methodology/approach – An empirical study of world-class companies was undertaken. Several of the companies were analyzed intensively namely Sony and Du Pont by interviewing and circulating questionnaires to the key actors of Six Sigma. Findings – The paper confirms that Six Sigma has a positive and comprehensive impact on changing the management system. Six Sigma has been harmonizing and synergizing people and processes by establishing a clear linkage among critical factors. This linkage, as a critical strength in innovation, is described by a causal relationships diagram using the system dynamics principle. By comparing with TQM, this paper has identified that Six Sigma has additional features named as disseminating commitment and sustaining spirit. Practical implications – The findings suggest that Six Sigma can potentially be used as an innovation tool for leveraging organizational performance. This paper provides a comprehensive perspective on how Six Sigma should be perceived and implemented to gain maximum potential. Hence, this paper is expected to provide a significant contribution to academia and practitioners in understanding the application of Six Sigma. Originality/value – The paper analyzes the impact of Six Sigma in a more organized approach than previous report. This approach categorizes the impact based on driver, enabler, and performance through an empirical study. Additionally, the relationship diagram and the comparison between Six Sigma and TQM are established in this paper. It is believed that such study is rarely published in academic journals.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – During the last decades, different quality management concepts, including total quality management (TQM), six sigma and lean, have been applied by many different organisations. Although much important work has been documented regarding TQM, six sigma and lean, a number of questions remain concerning the applicability of these concepts in various organisations and contexts. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to describe the similarities and differences between the concepts, including an evaluation and criticism of each concept. Design/methodology/approach – Within a case study, a literature review and face-to-face interviews in typical TQM, six sigma and lean organisations have been carried out. Findings – While TQM, six sigma and lean have many similarities, especially concerning origin, methodologies, tools and effects, they differ in some areas, in particular concerning the main theory, approach and the main criticism. The lean concept is slightly different from TQM and six sigma. However, there is a lot to gain if organisations are able to combine these three concepts, as they are complementary. Six sigma and lean are excellent road-maps, which could be used one by one or combined, together with the values in TQM. Originality/value – The paper provides guidance to organisations regarding the applicability and properties of quality concepts. Organisations need to work continuously with customer-orientated activities in order to survive; irrespective of how these activities are labelled. The paper will also serve as a basis for further research in this area, focusing on practical experience of these concepts.The TQM Magazine 04/2006; 18(3):282-296.
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ABSTRACT: Six sigma is a powerful business strategy that employs a disciplined approach to tackle process variability using the application of statistical and non-statistical tools and techniques in a rigorous manner. This paper examines the pros and cons of six sigma in a detailed manner. This is followed by a section about the future of six sigma and its links to statistical thinking. It is believed that, although the total package may change, the applications of six sigma will continue to grow in the forthcoming years, due to the existence of sound principles of statistical thinking within the six sigma strategy.The TQM Magazine 01/2004; 16(4):303-306.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – This paper aims to present the role that leading engineering and business schools will play for the future development of Six Sigma. Design/methodology/approach – This is a viewpoint article and the material presented in this article is based on the author's experience in the field of Six Sigma. Findings – The findings of the paper reflect some of the major limitations of Six Sigma and the paper makes an attempt to address the importance of academic institutions to engage in Six Sigma research topics. Research limitations/implications – The points expressed in this paper are based on the author's experience. It is essential to collect data on this topic from a number of leading researchers and practitioners in the field and to set out a research agenda in the future. Originality/value – This paper provides an excellent resource for those people who are currently carrying out research in Six Sigma. Moreover, the paper is equally useful to practitioners to understand the major limitations of this powerful business strategy and the role of academic institutions to address these limitations in the future.International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management 12/2007; 57(1):107-110.