Case study analysis of Six Sigma implementation in service organisations

Chakraborty, Ayon, and Tan, Kay Chuan (2012) Case study analysis of Six Sigma implementation in service organisations. Business Process Management Journal, 18 (6). pp. 992-1019.

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Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this research is to explore the implementation of Six Sigma in service organisations. The focus of the investigation is on identifying critical success factors (CSFs), critical-to quality (CTQ) characteristics, tools and techniques and key performance indicators (KPIs), and also to understand the issues emerging from the implementation process.

Design/methodology/approach – Exploratory empirical evidence is provided through four in-depth case studies of organisations mainly in Singapore. They include a hospital, a public service organisation, a consultancy service and a hotel.

Findings – The major findings include an understanding about the suitability of Six Sigma implementation in service organisations. Management support and team member support emerged as primary success factors. The CTQs include time and cost, while use of soft tools instead of rigorous statistical tools are preferred by service organisations. At the project level, KPIs are understood more as CTQs. Additionally; various interesting practical difficulties emerged from the case studies.

Research limitations/implications – A main limitation of this study is the small number of organisations studied and that are mainly from a single geographical location. Furthermore, the exploratory nature of the study demands rigorous in-depth studies. The practical difficulties identified will have major implications for managers. The framework including the CSFs, CTQs, KPIs, and tools and techniques, will be a useful guide for both practitioners and academicians.

Originality/value – There are limited studies about Six Sigma implementation in service organisations. This paper provides a framework and a paradigm shift from viewing its implementation through a manufacturing lens.

Item ID: 25618
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Six Sigma, service organizations, case study, critical success factors, Singapore
ISSN: 1758-4116
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2013 22:41
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150313 Quality Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8999 Other Information and Communication Services > 899999 Information and Communication Services not elsewhere classified @ 33%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9099 Other Commercial Services and Tourism > 909999 Commercial Services and Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 34%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 33%
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