Applications of six sigma for service quality enhancement in the UAE: a multiple case study analysis and lessons learned: International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

S. Bhat, J. Antony, M. Maalouf, G. E.v, S. Salah

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations


    Purpose: This paper aims to unearth the essential components of Six Sigma for successful deployment and sustainment of service quality in four different organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). More specifically, the paper is intended to determine the motivation to apply Six Sigma, Voice of Customer, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Critical-to-Quality (CTQ), readiness factors, Critical Success Factors, sustainment measures, tools and techniques used, challenges/barriers and performance impact on the company. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory research methodology with multiple case study analyses was adopted to determine the answers to the research objectives. Four case studies from different service processes of four companies were analyzed. The case studies were collated from these companies via a case study protocol with pre-defined criteria. Findings: The analysis shows that service operation improvement projects are primarily dependent on the voice of the internal customer, with return on investment in savings as the KPI of the process. Most organizations prefer cycle time and errors as the CTQs in the Six Sigma projects. Even novice users can effectively apply the Six Sigma methodology with external experts’ assistance, mentoring and interventions. Across the case studies, it is observed that the projects were successfully deployed due to the support of top management leadership, effective communication and cross-functional teams. Employee resistance to change is the common barrier observed during the case study analysis. Eventually, in all the four case studies, Six Sigma is executed with standard tools and techniques within the define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC) approach. Research limitations/implications: The present study’s findings cannot be generalized due to the limited number of case study analyses in different ecosystems in the UAE. The authors would like to analyse and report more case studies in service quality improvement through the Six Sigma methodology to comprehend and develop a generic roadmap for the deployment of Six Sigma in the UAE service industry. Practical implications: The study’s findings provide insights into commonalities and differences between the essential factors of Six Sigma deployment and sustainability in UAE companies. Originality/value: The study results might help the policymakers and key decision makers in UAE and other countries understand the effectiveness of Six Sigma in service quality improvement with its essential factors for deployment. © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited.
    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)1492-1517
    Number of pages26
    JournalInt. J. Lean Six Sigma
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - 2023


    • Multiple case study analysis
    • Service quality
    • Six sigma
    • UAE


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