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Organizational Culture in Support of Six Sigma and Innovation: Can it Co-exist?

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Graduate Education in ETD

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Technology and Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1015.1 - 25.1015.14



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Paper Authors


Sai Bhanu Prasad Chennupati Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Sai Chennupati is currently pursuing a M.S. in industrial technology at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. He is interested in Six Sigma, finance, supply chain management, lean manufacturing, and innovation. He received his B.E in mechanical engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, India.

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Chad M. Laux Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Chad Laux is an Assistant Professor in the Industrial Technology Department at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. He teaches courses in Lean manufacturing, and Six Sigma Quality. His research interests include Six Sigma, quality management, lean manufacturing, and agriculture biotechnology systems. He is a Six Sigma BlackBelt from General Electric, Co., Caterpillar, Inc., and the American Society for Quality. He is also a certified Senior Technology Manager from the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering.

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Kathryne Newton Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Kathy Newton is a professor in the Technology Leadership and Innovation Department at Purdue University. Her teaching and scholarly interests are in the areas of industrial distribution, quality control, innovation, and graduate education. She recently completed a three-year appointment as Department Head. Prior to her appointment at Purdue University in 1993, she spent seven years teaching for Texas A&M University’s Department of Engineering Technology. Newton has a Ph.D. in industrial education, a master’s degree in business administration, and a B.S. in industrial distribution, each from Texas A&M University.

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Kelly A. McFall

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Authors: Newton, Kathryne; Laux, Chad; Chennupati, Sai; Riley, KelleyOrganizational Culture in Support of Six Sigma and Innovation: Can it Co-exist?Innovation can be defined as the workforce’s development and successfulimplementation of new ideas applied to overcome the existinganachronous/obsolete products or processes in an attempt to overcome thecompetition posed (Calantone, Cavasgil, & Ahao, 2001; Van De Ven, 1986). SixSigma may be defined as a metric, methodology and management systemfocused on achieving quality by identifying, analyzing and rectifyingirregularities that deviate processes from maximum efficiency (Diorio, 2009;Schroeder, Linderman, Liedtke, & Choo, 2007). Culture refers to “shared norms,values, beliefs and assumptions concerning organizational affairs” (Harrison &Shirom, 1999). It has been stated that both innovation and Six Sigma may bestbe implemented by focusing and refining organizational culture (Kwak & Anbari,2004; Antony & Banuelas, 2002; Hult, Hurley, & Knight, 2002). Four underlyingquestions are discussed in this paper: (1) Are the organizational cultures neededto engender innovation and Six Sigma mutually exclusive? (2) Should Six Sigmanecessarily be data-driven to achieve quality? (3) What are the barriers thataffect a Six Sigma company that wants to innovate? (4) How can a Six Sigmaorganization overcome the barriers that obstruct them from innovating?

Chennupati, S. B. P., & Laux, C. M., & Newton, K., & McFall, K. A. (2012, June), Organizational Culture in Support of Six Sigma and Innovation: Can it Co-exist? Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21772

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