PurposeLiterature reviews are a pervasive aspect in research. An ever mounting field such as Lean Six Sigma requires a perpetual touch on the subject to accentuate insights that can be researched about. The purpose of this paper is to address the published literatures in the field of Lean Six Sigma through multiple criterion for an enhanced understanding of the subject matter through summarizing its current trends, uncovering existing literature gaps and revealing opportunities for future research in the field.Design/methodology/approachThe literature review on Lean Six Sigma field spans around 17 years that includes peer-reviewed journals from management, business, engineering, healthcare, manufacturing, military among the many disciplines. The study uses a content analysis approach in which several dimensions of the literature were analysed: purpose or focus of study, years of publication, journal name or publications, methodologies, theories used, country of study, industry sub-sectors, active authors in the field, critical success factors, barriers and challenges and the most contribution of Lean Six Sigma papers by universities.FindingsEleven important findings from the analysis were summarized among them; the field of Lean Six Sigma had begun to grow significantly since the new millennium particularly after the 2004-2007 or 2008 period; standalone concepts of Lean and Six Sigma are highly researched compared to the integrated concepts; large proportion of perspective, conceptual and descriptive based studies; lack of empirical validity on the fusion between Lean and Six Sigma; lack of theoretical based studies, etc.Research limitations/implicationsThe study is limited to 102 journals in commonly searched databases in the subject matter which produced 261 journal papers. This study seeks to broaden the summary of studies done under the keyword “Lean Six Sigma”.Originality/valueThe review analysis uses a content analysis approach in search of valuable gaps in existing research. The study found 261 papers from 102 journals that were published over the past seventeen years (2000-2016). This paper provides scholars, practitioners and managers with insights on the present trends and focus of Lean Six Sigma in addition to what else are lacking in the subject matter, which could pave the way for future research and practical endeavours.
International Journal of Lean Six Sigma – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 5, 2018
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