Factors impacting individual Six Sigma adoption

Phillip S. Mueller, Jennifer A. Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Organizations spend considerable time and money educating individuals on Six Sigma; however, existing literature does not examine Six Sigma adoption at the individual level or the factors that impact individual Six Sigma adoption. The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of individual adoption of Six Sigma tools and methodology. Design/methodology/approach: This paper used a single-site field study in a manufacturing organization to empirically test and refine a theory of the factors impacting Six Sigma adoption at the individual level. Findings: Reaction to training, project management and project infrastructure were found to be significant input factors for individual Six Sigma adoption with an R2 of 0.482, which indicates that about 48 per cent 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. Research limitations/implications: This paper was not a controlled experiment or a longitudinal study, so it is not possible from the results of this research to prove causal relationships, although the literature supports a causal relationship between the input factors and outcome. Practical implications: The findings of this paper will be useful to practicing organizations which seek to improve individual Six Sigma adoptions, as well as inform future Six Sigma adoption research. Originality/value: Six Sigma adoption at the organizational level has been well documented in the existing literature. 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 tools and methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-83
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Lean Six Sigma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 14 2020


  • Adoption
  • Six Sigma
  • Training


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