Role of explicit and tacit knowledge in Six Sigma projects: An empirical examination of differential project success

Gopesh Anand, Peter T. Ward, Mohan V. Tatikonda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This research develops a conceptual model for predicting success of process improvement projects as a result of knowledge-creation practices employed in the projects. The model is empirically examined in the context of Six Sigma black belt projects. New scales are developed to measure explicit- and tacit-knowledge-creation practices in process improvement. Data is gathered via a cross-sectional sample, and the hypotheses are tested using hierarchical regression. Our results support the notion that knowledge-creation practices influence the success of process improvement projects. Specifically, the inclusion of softer, people-oriented practices for capturing tacit knowledge explains a significant amount of variance in project success, as much as the more analytically focused practices that capture explicit knowledge. This research offers practical insights about the influence of practices that project managers use to create new knowledge by capturing explicit and tacit knowledge, and seeks to advance theoretical understanding of process improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-315
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

Keywords

  • Knowledge management
  • Organizational learning
  • Process improvement
  • Six Sigma
  • Tacit knowledge
  • Teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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