پیوند یادگیری و تولید علم به موفقیت پروژه در پروژه های شش سیگما : تحقیق تجربی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 141, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 388–402
This study investigates the impact of two organizational antecedents, (1) Six Sigma resources (technical) and (2) team psychological safety (social), on learning behaviour and knowledge creation and, in turn, on the success of Six Sigma process improvement projects. The paper proposes an integrated model to explain process improvement implementation success through two learning activities undertaken by Six Sigma project teams: Knowing-what and Knowing-how. The conceptualization of these knowledge types in this research is different from usual conceptualization as it represents the knowledge brought into projects through various phases of Six Sigma projects. The three hypotheses proposed in the model were tested using the data collected from 52 Six Sigma project teams from a single organization. Regression analysis showed psychological safety affects project performance through knowing-how. Regression and bootstrapping analyses showed resources influence project performance through the combined mediation of knowing-what and knowing-how. The paper provides an interdisciplinary treatment of knowledge management in process improvement teams, and offers a research model demonstrating how Six Sigma project teams promote deliberate organizational learning. By doing so, this study empirically establishes the notion that technical and social supports jointly impact the success of operations management initiatives such as Six Sigma through learning. The limitations of the study along with the future research directions are highlighted.
Teams are the fundamental learning units in organizations (Senge, 1990). Team learning is a process in which a team takes action, obtains and reflects on feedback, and makes changes to adapt or improve (Edmondson, 1999 and Argote et al., 2000). The literature investigates the effects of various organizational antecedents on project performance through team learning in project teams such as new product development teams (Sarin and McDermott, 2003 and Tatikonda and Montoya-Weiss, 2001), information technology development and implementation project teams (Lee and Choi, 2003 and Sabherwal et al., 2006), and best practice or new technology implementing project teams in hospitals (Edmondson et al., 2003 and Tucker et al., 2007). However, there is a paucity of such research on process improvement teams. Operations management scholars have found that process improvement contributes to the competitive positions of organizations (Anand et al., 2009, Shah and Ward, 2003 and Zu et al., 2008) and recognize the importance of knowledge management in process improvement (Choo et al., 2007, Linderman et al., 2004, Linderman et al., 2010, Molina et al., 2007 and Lloréns-Montes and Molina, 2006). In spite of the importance of knowledge management within the firm (Sutton and Hargadon, 1996), few studies investigate the relationship between knowledge management and quality management, in general, and process management in particular (Choo et al., 2007 and Zhang et al., 2008). This study empirically investigates learning and knowledge creation in Six Sigma process improvement projects. The results and findings are equally applicable to any process improvement environment. Invented by Motorola, Inc. in 1986 as a metric for measuring defects and improving quality, Six Sigma evolved to a robust business improvement strategy that focuses an organization on customer requirements (Antony, 2004, Harry and Schroeder, 2000, Kumar et al., 2008 and Schroeder et al., 2008). In Six Sigma, process improvement projects are identified, selected and prioritized based on strategic importance to the organization, and management commits resources for successful completion of the projects. Each project team is led by a project leader well trained in Six Sigma methodology, and the team carries out projects following a structured approach called DMAIC, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (Linderman et al., 2006, Pande et al., 2000 and Schroeder et al., 2008). Our review of the quality management literature suggests that recent studies on process improvement teams focused only on the mechanisms of learning and knowledge creation (Anand et al., 2010 and Mukherjee et al., 1998). Very few studies have focused on influencing variables and their effects on learning and knowledge creation (Gutiérrez et al., 2011 and Linderman et al., 2010) and, in turn, project performance (Choo et al., 2007 and Lloréns-Montes and Molina, 2006). This is surprising since scholars have noted technical and social components of quality/process management lead to learning and knowledge creation (Hackman and Wageman, 1995 and Wruck and Jensen, 1994), and organizational factors, such as managerial actions, and contextual factors, such as team composition, task conditions, learning goals, leader behaviour and socialization, influence learning in teams (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990, Van den Bosch et al., 1999 and Edmondson, 1999). This study minimizes the gaps found in the literature by reporting an empirical investigation and understanding of the impact of two organizational antecedents, (1) Six Sigma resources (technical) and (2) team psychological safety (social condition or social process practised within the team), on project performance in Six Sigma project teams through team learning behaviour, as the implementation of Six Sigma requires both technical and process perspectives (McAdam and Lafferty, 2004 and Choo et al., 2007). By doing so, this study empirically supports the earlier research of Linderman et al. (2010) and Lloréns-Montes and Molina (2006), and extends the research by Choo et al. (2007). The paper proposes an integrated model to explain process improvement implementation success through specific learning activities undertaken by Six Sigma project teams. Drawing on two streams of research, team learning and operations management, the model explains implementation success through two types of organizational learning: (1) Knowing-what, facilitating the project team to understand the current process and its input factors (process characterization) and (2) Knowing-how, helping the team identify how these factors affect the process outcome and generate optimal solutions by changing or modifying input factors for improved process outcome (process optimization). The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 introduces Six Sigma resources, team psychological safety and the two learning mechanisms and develops three theoretical models and hypotheses. Section 3 presents research methods including data collection and measures development. Section 4 presents analysis and results. Section 5 includes a discussion about theoretical and managerial implications, opportunities for future research and limitations of the research followed by conclusion in Section 6.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Six Sigma is an evolving phenomenon that has attracted both academics and practitioners. It was the aim of this paper through empirical investigation to bring further insights on Six Sigma through learning and knowledge creation in project teams, contribute to theory development, and offer implications for practitioners. First, this study extends theory and research on organizational learning in quality improvement projects by examining the contribution of deliberate learning in Six Sigma projects. Second, the study provides empirical support to the existing literature that focuses knowledge creation in Six Sigma teams. Finally, by investigating the effect of two antecedents, resources and team psychological safety on learning and knowledge creation in Six Sigma project teams, the present study empirically clarifies to the managers that technical support to the project team and social practices in the team jointly promote knowledge creation in project teams and in turn impact on project performance. The findings enrich our understanding of team learning in Six Sigma project teams.