Publication Details

Price, O. M., Pepper, M. & Stewart, M. (2018). Lean six sigma and the Australian business excellence framework: An exploratory case within local government. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Online First 1-14.


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine a contextualized local government case study of the application of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in conjunction with the Australian Business Excellence Framework (ABEF) to highlight the importance of a good strategic fit between LSS and organizational objectives before implementation.

Design/methodology/approach A local government council is used in a case study-based approach. Organizational artefacts and documents were used for data collection in conjunction with interviews from senior executives within the organization.

Findings Results indicate that when used in conjunction with the ABEF, LSS provides focus on organizational learning practices embedded within the implementation of continuous improvement.

Research limitations/implications The purpose of this paper is to contribute to discourse regarding the effective application and implementation of LLS in local government.

Practical implications LSS tools and techniques are known to local government, but are applied in isolation of the overarching LSS framework. This paper emphasizes the importance of comprehensive implementation of these tools, guided by the inclusion of an external contextualized framework (ABEF) in conjunction with the LSS to achieve sustainable continuous improvement.

Originality/value Business excellence frameworks are widely used in the public sector as a reference/means for improvement. This paper highlights the importance of LSS in operationalizing strategic direction provided by such frameworks and providing the focus on learning practices critical for sustainable improvements.

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