Developing a readiness self-assessment model (RSM) for Six Sigma for China enterprises

T. Y. Lee, Wai Keung Wong, K. W. Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Six Sigma, as a concept, gains more and more attention and importance because of its comprehensive approach for company development and performance improvement of both products and processes. Nevertheless, Six Sigma is recognized for its complicated statistical and non-statistical tool-sets for reducing operational deviation. The main challenge for a successful implementation of Six Sigma is the readiness for it. In particular, as China has been developing into the world factory, the quality improvement journey has also been affected by this world-wide trend and China enterprises have to find ways to adapt to this. This research paper aims at developing a self-assessment model for determining the readiness of China enterprises to implement the Six Sigma approach, so that organizations can understand their wellbeing and the potential deficiencies in Six Sigma implementation. Design/methodology/approach: An extensive literature review has been conducted to provide sufficient background information on the Six Sigma development, critical success factors and its challenges for implementing organizations, especially for China enterprises. The developed readiness self-assessment model is validated by survey method and the collected data are analyzed to determine the effectiveness of the model. Findings: The survey outcomes prove that the developed self-assessment model is effective in determining the readiness of the organization for adopting a Six Sigma approach. Among the three surveyed companies, only the one with experience in quality improvement projects and Six Sigma implementation passes the assessment test. The model is able to illustrate the potential deficiencies of an organization if it intends to implement Six Sigma. Originality/value: This paper presents the first research study to develop a Six Sigma readiness self-assessment model targeting China enterprises. The developed model is of interest to academic researchers, business practitioners, quality improvement consultants and Six Sigma experts. The paper will provide a valuable foundation and also implications for future research studies on readiness self-assessment models for all kinds of management system programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-194
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • China
  • Quality management
  • Self assessment
  • Six sigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management


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