Title: Differences between Six Sigma applications in manufacturing and the service industry

Authors: Andrea Chiarini

Addresses: Chiarini & Associates, Via Di Corticella 181/3 Bologna, Italy

Abstract: The purpose of the research presented in this paper is to investigate the differences between Six Sigma applications in manufacturing and the service industry. A review of the literature produced six research questions related to the effects of the kind of industry (manufacturing and service) on applications of Six Sigma. The questions focus on performance measures, the kind of statistical tools used (advanced and basic), the possibility of using different mapping tools, the Black-Green Belt training path and the organisational climate and human behaviour. In an original and new way, these six research questions were transformed into hypotheses then validated by means of a questionnaire and a chi-square test. Qualitative suggestions from the respondents were collected at the same time. Findings show that, comparing Six Sigma in manufacturing and service industry, there are many interesting differences. Managerial implications, recommendations and an agenda for future study are presented.

Keywords: six sigma applications; service industry; manufacturing industry; performance measures; advanced statistical tools; mapping tools; organisational climate; services; human behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2013.056163

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2013 Vol.12 No.3, pp.345 - 360

Available online: 11 Aug 2013 *

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