Concept and practices of quality have gone through a wild change in past centuries. Started from Taylor‘s scientific management to Shewhart‘s SPC to Deming, ISO, Six Sigma and Lean, quality grew from a pure inspection activity within a factory to a critical business initiative driving to performance and success. The changes were not triggered only by tool advancement but adoption and appreciation of quality from top leaders to the whole organization.
Six Sigma is an operational excellence initiative gaining wide acceptance since its introduction in the 1980‘s. It is costly and the changes required for organization, leaders, and employees are more complicated than other continuous improvement programs. Many companies focus too much on the deployment itself, spending countless efforts on training and ?belts?, or Six Sigma professionals, instead of factors that might determine its success which includes business performance and sustainability of the program itself. This often results in performance gap or even total disappointment from the management, thus leads to an unpleasant ending of such efforts.
This thesis tries to develop an understanding of Six Sigma implementation from organization and management‘s point of view to identify critical variables to success both in quality culture and business performance. Research focuses on three different implementation stages, i.e. initialization, deployment, and maintenance, with factors identified from previous researches and actual practices. A survey to include company management members, practitioners, and Six Sigma professionals were conducted to
validate the theory. A model and guidelines for success are presented for companies interesting in Six Sigma adoption to increase their possibility of success.
Key Words: Six Sigma, Quality Culture, Leadership Style, Transformational Leadership, Organizational Performance, Organizational Learning, Organizational Innovation