Factors Impacting the Individual Adoption of Six Sigma Tools and Methodology



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The process improvement methodology knows as six sigma is the application of statistical techniques and tools to reduce process variation and improve quality. The extensive set of tools and techniques of six sigma provides users with a structured methodology to bring processes under control. Companies like GE and Motorola have seen significant benefits from successfully implementing six sigma in terms of profitability and market value. However, not all companies that implement six sigma have seen such remarkable benefits. The cost of implementing six sigma can be significant and frequently companies have failed to achieve expected results or have failed to gain any benefits from the implementation of six sigma. The successful adoption of six sigma has been researched at the organizational level but not at the individual level. The successful adoption of six sigma in an organization is dependent, at least in part, to adoption six sigma at the individual level. A review of the existing literature indicates that there has been no research into individual adoption of six sigma. The primary purpose of this research was to increase the understanding of individual adoption of six sigma tools and methodology. In support of that purpose this research seeks to identify the following: 1) the factors that influence the adoption of six sigma tools and methodology at the individual level, 2) how an organization can measure the identified factors, 3) to what degree the identified factors influence the adoption of six sigma at the individual level, 4) any relationships between the factors that influence individual adoption of six sigma and 5) how an organization can use the findings from this study to improve the individual adoption of six sigma. This research used a single-site field study to empirically test and refine a theory of the factors impacting six sigma adoption at the individual level. Reaction to Training, Project Management and Project Infrastructure were found to be significant input factors for individual six sigma adoption with an R Square of 0.482, which indicates that about 48% of the variation in six sigma adoption is explained by the input factors. All of the identified input factors were found to have a positive relationship with individual six sigma adoption as well as positive correlations with each other. The findings of this research will be useful to practicing organizations which seek to improve individual six sigma adoptions as well as inform future six sigma adoption research.



Adoption, Six Sigma