D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2021.
Specialization: Business administration; Management
The lived and perceived experiences of healthcare leaders deploying Lean Six Sigma methods: A phenomenological study
230 pages. UMI #: 28775274
Citation, Abstract & Full text in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
Lean and Six Sigma are two well-known methodologies used for continuous improvement in many industries. Broadly described, Lean focuses on reducing and eliminating waste in business processes, while Six Sigma focuses on reducing variation in processes. The combined efforts of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies potentially improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations. Deploying Lean and Six Sigma methods in the healthcare environment have provided impactful outcomes. Despite this, the application of the methods can come with numerous challenges. Many researchers have highlighted both the successes and failures of Lean Six Sigma deployment. However, there has been minimal research highlighting the deployment phenomenon that leaders experience. This research addresses the gap in literature surrounding the phenomenon of Lean Six Sigma deployment as defined by leader experiences and perceptions. What did the leaders experience, and how did the leaders feel? The foundational theories discussed in the literature review are leadership structure and design, organizational learning, and organizational culture. The research is a qualitative phenomenological study sampling ten leaders in the healthcare industry who have deployment experience using Lean and Six Sigma methods throughout the United States. The general research questions address the leaders’ experiences and perceptions regarding Lean and Six Sigma deployment. The data from the interviews provide thick, rich descriptions in the form of scenario-based, in-depth quotations, of the leaders’ experiences, attitudes, and perceptions of the phenomenon. Numerous key themes emerged from the study. One emergent theme, evolving from the revealed vulnerabilities, is that senior leadership change is a significant disruptor to successful deployment. Another emergent theme showed that centralized management systems counterbalance the many aspects of variation and provide stability and continuity with deployments. A further emergent theme uncovered deployment vulnerabilities and expressed how the experiences concerning leadership development are essential to support transitions. Additional themes emerged based on the successes and challenges of resources, engagement, and collaboration. The themes provide areas of focus that leaders and practitioners can increase awareness of and address. Additionally, the research could yield improved leader-centric frameworks for the successful deployment of Lean Six Sigma programs.