Having arisen in large corporations, six sigma is surely one of the most comprehensive approaches for company development and performance improvement of products and processes. Nevertheless, it appears that the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) either do not know the six sigma approach, or find its organisation not suitable to meet their specific requirements. This study identifies the specific requirements based on a sample of SMEs in Germany and examines how six sigma has to be modified to be applicable and valuable in an SME environment. The overall results are reflected in ten imperative functional requirements for an adjusted approach. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- quality management
- quality programmes
- small to medium-sized enterprises
- total quality management