Six Sigma for Sustainability in Multinational Organizations

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Six Sigma For Sustainability In Multinational Organizations Journal of Business Case Studies – May/June 2011

Volume 7, Number 3

Six Sigma For Sustainability
In Multinational Organizations
Abdullah AlSagheer, Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University, Dubai UAE

The Six Sigma model provides various kinds of sustainability to companies in terms of quality enhancement, zero defect level, market share enhancement, optimal production level and financial returns. Multinational companies are more orientated toward impl ementation of Six Sigma than small scale locally held companies. Numerous larger companies have so far implemented Six Sigma including 3M, Caterpillar, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America,, DHL, SGL group, Dell, Ford Motor Company, DuPont, McGraw Hi ll Companies and HSBC group. Implementation of Six Sigma requires considerable cost and effort in terms of human resource training and reformulation of business processes. This study is an attempt to find what kind of sustainability motivates multinational companies to invest in Six Sigma. Sustainability identified includes social sustainability, environmental sustainability, and economic sustainability. With the aid of interviews, a constant comparison study is conducted in order to find the most preva lent type of sustainability offered by Six Sigma. A sample is drawn from multinational companies which have already implemented Six Sigma in their operations. The findings suggest that multinational companies implement Six Sigma in order to attain econom ic sustainability through various means such as market share, customer base, and social sustainability. Keywords: Six Sigma; sustainability; multinationals; economic sustainability; zero defect level; financial sustainability



he world is witnessing a reformed shape of business, an approach more focused on quality and customer care. The traditional concept of supplier orientation has shifted to customer orientation and traditional meaning of quality has also changed. Quality management, total quality management, zero defect level, lean management, continuous improvement and Six Sigma have evolved over the period of time to meet quality requirements of customers. Each having a slighter different and updated focus of quality, Six S igma is the most advance approach. Six Sigma is a quality management initiative that takes the methodological approach based on data attempting to eliminate the defects to minimize standard deviation to desired level of quality (Six Sigma, 2010). The study is focused to find sustainability that Six Sigma brings in multinationals. Small businesses, due to their small scale and low organized processes confront difficulties while implementing six sigma processes. Present study finds the sustainability that six sigma provides to larger multinational organizations in terms of society, environment and financial return.

Background Of Study
Initiated by Motorola, Six Sigma has largely been adopted by number of multinational, larger scale companies. A few to mentioned includes 3M, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America,, DHL, SGL group, Dell, Ford Motor company, DuPont, McGraw Hill Companies, HSBC group, United States Army and many others (Gupta, 2005). It is pertinent to notice that mostly multinational an d larger companies have adopted Six Sigma (Wiele, Iwaarden and Power, 2010). Literature and actual implementation of Six Sigma largely reflects the fact that multinational companies are more inclined towards adoption of Six Sigma as it produces multifacete d sustainability. Core reasons of this adoption is that multinational afford higher cost of training, higher technical expertise requirement and more advance processes (Gupta, 2005).

© 2011 The Clute Institute


Journal of Business Case Studies – May/June 2011

Volume 7, Number 3

Statement Of The Research Problem
Multinational organizations adopts six sigma as it offer them...
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