Understanding Six Sigma®: Implications for Industry and Education

  • Sean P. Goffnett (Eastern Michigan University)


People in industries from manufacturing to service are witnessing the growth of a strategic continuous improvement concept called Six Sigma. Tools, such as run charts and measurement system analyses, that a quality department might normally use for assurance purposes are expanding to all aspects of business, in part, by way of Six Sigma. This customer focused concept appears to thrive on process improvement and innovation, and it has been touted as a principal source for creating enormous savings and leading business strategy (Harry, 1998; Hoerl, 1998; Pande, Neu- man, & Cavanagh, 2002). Six Sigma’s main objectives are to reduce variation and defects, increase customer satisfaction, and increase profits (Goh, 2002; Hahn, Hill, Hoerl, & Zinkgraf, 1999; Harry, 1998). What is more, people are now witnessing the first wave of Six Sigma in academia. For example, Eastern Michigan University, Arizona State University and Virginia Tech each offer a Six Sigma course (Hoerl & Bryce, 2004; Zahn, Watson, Voelkel, & Patterson, 2003).

Keywords: curriculum|higher education|leadership|management|quality|quality control

How to Cite:

Goffnett, S. P., (2004) “Understanding Six Sigma®: Implications for Industry and Education”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering 20(4).



Published on
31 Aug 2004