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It was thought that the Six Sigma concept was simply "too powerful to fail," a misconception on which the whole misfortune of the Six Sigma programs is based. The human factor is often not taken into consideration. Elements such as empowerment, communication and recognition play an important role in determining the success of the Six Sigma methodology, according to the result of the study.
Implementation in sectors like finance and sales were unsuccessful, due to the very nature of the concept, which was developed and is still mainly applied in manufacturing organizations (especially mass-manufacturing). The very basis of Six Sigma, the defect measure approach was simply ineffective in other areas of the economy. The opinion which rises from the literature review above coincides with the result of the study conducted by McAdam and Lafferty: outside a mass manufacturing environment, the Six Sigma methodology is unsuccessful.
The data gathered from this research reveals that empowerment of the employees in a sense that they are allowed to chose how and which tools to use in the performance of their jobs is essential to an increase in the general profitability of the organization. People are logical beings that need to establish a connection between cause and effect. Six Sigma bases itself on the belief in the all-mighty technology and methodology, which ultimately leads to failure.
The current preoccupations regarding the Six Sigma phenomenon appeared as an effect of the development of Total Quality Management, which evolved from a simple mechanistic approach to a more complex mechanistic and organic model. This model is based on the needs of business and employees and is not intended to be a replacement for TQM, but instead a "means of refocusing the need for business deliverables on the mechanized side of TQM." The conclusion to which the study arrives is that each and every organization that intends on implementing a Six Sigma methodology needs to carefully evaluate the existing culture within the business. A special attention must be paid to this issue by managers of companies which have previously implemented a TQM program. One advantage of Six Sigma, according to the authors of the study is a renewed focus in regard to process output.
Concerning research methodology, McAdam and Lafferty emphasize the need for additional exploration, using both the inductive and the deductive methods in order for the amount of literature available to be increased. Their study is intended to be the corner stone of a new approach toward the relation between mechanistic and people variables in the Six Sigma concept.
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