Six Sigma and operational absorptive capacity: the role of project leader

V. Arumugam, Kevin Linderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the abundance of literature on Six Sigma, we know only a little about how project leaders’ behaviours create and manage effective Six Sigma teams. To address this gap, the present study investigates the influence of leaders’ coaching behaviours on operational absorptive capacity in Six Sigma teams. Hypotheses linking leaders’ coaching behaviours and the two components of operational absorptive capacity, potential and realised operational absorptive capacity, were tested using data from 324 members of 102 improvement teams from two European engineering manufacturing companies deploying Six Sigma. The study establishes that leader coaching has a positive impact on both potential and realised operational absorptive capacity. By considering absorptive capacity, a construct from the strategy literature in the context of operations improvement teams, this study demonstrates the usefulness of absorptive capacity in a new context and at a new level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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