Lean and Six Sigma are two prominent continuous improvement methodologies that has been prevalent lately given its high success rate within the industry or business world. It is necessary for organizations to learn what about these philosophies enable such accomplishment. Lean and Six Sigma are two different schools of thought, fused for greater proficiency in handling or improving organizational processes.
What is Lean and Six Sigma?
Lean is a philosophy centered around a socio-technical aspect. In other words, Lean consist of social and technical practices which outlines its functionality. Six Sigma on the other hand is underlined by its structured improvement procedure through the DMAIC phases, a strict focus on metrics and a systematic role structure in the form of a belt system which emphasizes the improvement specialists inherent within an organization.
An effectual continuous improvement philosophy should not only empower an organization on improving learning capabilities but constructively translate those learning capabilities into exploitation capabilities for enhanced productivity and profitability.
A research carried out in manufacturing organizations in peninsular Malaysia explains Lean and Six Sigma’s distinct practices as above mentioned has the potency to trigger components of absorptive capacity which resembles learning and exploitation capabilities, technically known as potential and realized absorptive capacity. The research provides insight on how practitioners or managers could maneuver the practices to generate a balance between learning and exploitation capabilities wherein both are crucial towards creating and sustaining competitive advantage of organizations.
Keywords: Six Sigma, Lean, Absorptive capacity, Potential absorptive capacity, Realized absorptive capacity
Type: Research Paper
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited