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Six sigma in small- and medium-sized UK manufacturing enterprises: Some empirical observations

Antony, Jiju, Kumar, Maneesh ORCID: and Madu, Christian N. 2005. Six sigma in small- and medium-sized UK manufacturing enterprises: Some empirical observations. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management 22 (8) , pp. 860-874. 10.1108/02656710510617265

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Purpose – Six sigma for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is an emerging topic among many academics and six sigma practitioners over the last two to three years. Very few studies have been reported about the successful applications of six sigma in SMEs. The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of six sigma implementation in UK manufacturing SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents an extensive literature review based on the experiences of both academics and practitioners on six sigma within an SME environment. The paper highlights the strengths and weaknesses associated with SMEs, followed by the results of a six sigma survey in UK manufacturing SMEs. The results of the study are based primarily on descriptive statistics. Findings – The results of the study show that many of the SMEs are not aware of six sigma and many do not have the resources to implement six sigma projects. It was also found that lean sigma was not generally popular among SMEs. Management involvement and participation, linking six sigma to customers and linking six sigma to business strategy are the most critical factors for the successful deployment of six sigma in SMEs. Originality/value – This paper reports the first study on the status of six sigma implementation in UK SMEs. The paper will yield a great value to academics, consultants, researchers and practitioners of six sigma.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: Critical success factors, Quality programmes, Small to medium-sized enterprises, United Kingdom
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0265-671X
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:58

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