Title: Six Sigma and organisational performance: a knowledge creation perspective

Authors: Ang Boon Sin, Suhaiza Zailani, T. Ramayah

Addresses: School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia. ' School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia. ' School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia

Abstract: This study focuses on how Six Sigma practices can lead to organisational knowledge creation capability and how this capability can lead to the improvement of organisational performance. A survey was conducted to test the model linking knowledge creation process in Six Sigma practices to organisational performance through organisational knowledge creation. Out of the total 349 possible survey participants, 187 (53.6%) surveys were returned and received. The results indicate that Six Sigma practices allow knowledge to be created through knowledge creation processes (socialisation, externalisation, combination and internalisation). In turn, the knowledge created has positive impact on four different measures of organisation performance (customer, internal business process, employee learning and growth and financial). Specifically, knowledge creation has direct positive impact on customer, internal business process, employee learning and growth and indirect positive impact on financial. Overall, the study|s results show that process improvement through Six Sigma projects involves the creation of knowledge. Thus, the underlying basis for practices employed in Six Sigma projects is knowledge creation through the transformation of knowledge from tacit to explicit and vice versa and through the transfer of both types of knowledge from individuals to teams.

Keywords: six sigma; knowledge creation; organisational performance; Malaysia; socialisation; externalisation; internalisation; customers; internal business processes; employee learning; employee growth; financial performance; process improvement; tacit knowledge; explicit knowledge; knowledge transfer; individuals; teams; productivity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2010.034405

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2010 Vol.6 No.2, pp.182 - 212

Published online: 02 Aug 2010 *

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