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The Prevalence of Six Sigma Trends in the Construction Industry in Pakistan

MS Thesis In PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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The Prevalence of Six Sigma Trends in the Construction Industry in Pakistan

A Thesis Presented—–  In partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of MS Project Management

Contents

ABSTRACT 3

CHAPTER 1: Introduction 4

1.1 Background of the Study 4

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem 6

1.3 Significance of the Study 10

1.4 Purpose of the Study 13

1.5 Research Questions and Research Objectives 13

1.6 Assumptions 15

1.7 Limitations and Delimitations 15

1.8 Definition of Terms 15

CHAPTER 2: Literature Review 17

2.1 Six Sigma and Quality Management 17

2.2 Six Sigma in Construction Industry 20

2.3 Six Sigma in Pakistan 23

2.4 Six Sigma and Training and Development 26

2.5 Six Sigma and Implementation Barriers 31

CHAPTER 3: Methodology 37

3.1 Research Design 37

3.2 Participants 37

3.3 Data Collection 38

3.4 Instrument 39

3.5 Data Analysis 41

3.6 Threats to Validity 41

CHAPTER 4: Results 43

4.1 Respondents’ Profile 43

4.2 Analysis of Descriptive Statistics 45

4.3 Reliability Testing 46

4.4 Analysis of Research Objectives 47

4.5 One-Way ANOVA 63

4.6 Discussion 64

CHAPTER 5: Conclusion 69

5.1 Key Findings 69

5.2 Conclusion 71

5.3 Limitations 71

5.4 Recommendations 72

References 76

ABSTRACT

The economic development is highly dependent on the performance of construction industry because the development in infrastructure increases economic activity, living standard, increases foreign direct investments and business opportunities. The construction industry in Pakistan also plays a significant role in the economic activity and government’s focus towards increasing infrastructure development has provided the construction industry with growth prospects. It has been observed that the quality management practices in the construction industry are highly inadequate to enhance quality, whereas the construction industry is found to be highly challenged with inadequate delays in projects and project quality. In this instance, need for the implementation of Six Sigma in the construction industry in Pakistan has been identified, whereas the implementation of Six Sigma is found to be undermined in the construction industry. In this instance, the current study is objectified to determine the current trends, extent of implementation, prior knowledge and related trainings required in the implementation of Six Sigma. The structured questionnaire was developed to collect data from the sample size of 100 managers from 100 construction companies in Pakistan. The results of the study indicated lack of top management concern towards quality enhancement prevails, whereas the current trends indicate that Six Sigma is implement in construction industry at some extent. Moreover, the need for the training of employees with respect to the practical implementation of Six Sigma is highly required. The study provides recommendations in which the development of quality standard at national level is suggested in order to ensure the development of effective Six Sigma design that can address the objectives and work process in the construction industry.

Keywords: Six Sigma,Quality Management Practices, Construction Industry, Pakistan.

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The construction industry plays a prominent role in uplifting the economy of the country. It has been observed that development of efficient infrastructure promotes productivity and generates employment. However, the cost related to the construction projects is high due to the prevalence of heavy machinery, workforce and capital requirement. The construction industry is objectified to ensure the construction of innovative and efficient infrastructure in a cost-efficient manner (Lawson, 2013).

The business sector is highly dependent on the performance of construction industry because the construction industry ensures the prevalence of roads, telecom networks, dams, barrages, power stations and railway structure, which eventually makes the country feasible for the foreign investors. Moreover, construction industry also enhances the development in real-estate by means of providing the availability of well-structured houses, which leads towards urbanization and increase population. In this manner, it provides the businesses with the availability of local population at such location, which is highly feasible to consider business expansion and provides access to the local market (Zou& Chau, 2014).

The infrastructure development leads towards the economic activity by means of generating employment, foreign and local investments, increase in per capita income and GDP (Zou& Chau, 2014). Moreover, considering the capital requirement in construction industry, it has been implied that effective quality control strategies, mainly encompassing Six Sigma, can help in reducing the capital requirement and resource consumption in the construction projects (Snee, 2010). In this manner, it can help in increasing the extent of infrastructure in the country and can lead towards economic stability.

The implementation of quality enhancing procedures requires the support from the organization and departments by means of integrating such procedures with the organizational culture and policies. In this instance, Six Sigma is considered as an effective means of incorporating improvement methods and techniques in the organization and ensure sustainable success. It also focuses on addressing the need of customers, conducting empirical analysis to determine inefficiencies in the work processes and focuses on the continuous improvement by reinventing the business processes (Snee, 2010).

The implementation of Six Sigma in the organization requires the effective training of the employees and strong inclination towards the achievement of the project outcomes that involves the Six Sigma. In this instance, the implementation of Six Sigma is highly dependent of the organizational and managerial support in order to achieve the organizational objectives. It eventually indicates that the implementation of Six Sigma is required to be incorporated at the organizational level so that the respective departments can be provided with the competitive teams, resources and organizational support to carry out the work processes in accordance with the sequence of Six Sigma procedures (Pepper& Spedding, 2010).

The management students, trainees and construction consultants are required to equipped with the latest information about the implementation of Sic Sigma practices in the projects in order to ensure continuous improvement and quality enhancement in the overall projects. In this instance, the educational need of the consultants and management professionals is addressed by the PIQC Institute of Quality that is aimed to provide trainings and certifications in quality management programs. Moreover, the institute also offers the specialized training in Six Sigma training in order to enhance the skills of potential consultants with respect to efficient quality management practices by means of training programs that incorporate green, yellow and black belt six sigma certifications (PIQC, 2016).

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Pakistan is the 38th largest country on accounts of its gross domestic product and incorporates 25th rank in purchasing power parity. It accounts for the 6th largest country in terms of population and accounts for over 190 million population. The gross domestic product of Pakistan is estimated to be $285 billion dollars with the purchasing power parity of $982 billion in the year 2016. It is also ranked 132nd in the world on the basis of its gross domestic product. The economic growth rate is observed to have a positive trend with the average growth rate of 4.91% since 1952 (Trading Economics, 2016a).

The positive trend in the economy is considered to be the government’s macroeconomic policies and structural reform program that has resulted in decreased oil prices and better investment prospects, which has increased the return on investment and has attracted local and foreign investments in the country. The forecasted growth in gross domestic product was expected to be 4.5% for the year 2016, however, the growth rate is found be to 4.7% in 2016. It eventually indicates the exceedingly high economic growth with the estimated growth rate of 5.2% in the year 2017 (Trading Economics, 2016a).

The foreign direct investment is Pakistan is found to be $751 million in the year 2016, which eventually indicates enhances economic prospects in the country (Trading Economics, 2016b). The current government has development attractive policies for foreign direct investments in the country that has resulted in the 4.8% increase in the foreign direct investment. The foreign private investment accounted for $1666.2 million in the year 2015, which indicates the prevalence of a higher extent of economic activity in the country (GoP, 2015).

The extent of gross domestic product and foreign direct investment indicates the need of infrastructure development in the country in order to support the growing economic activities.Moreover, the country’s focus towards continuous development in infrastructure has also created business opportunities in the construction industry. It eventually increases employment opportunities and increases economic stability by means of providing business potential to the horizontal and vertically integrated businesses (Haseeb et al., 2011).

It has been observed that the government has launched a ‘Hunarmand Pakistan Program’, that is focused on providing skill development opportunities to the citizens in the construction, agriculture and information technology (GoP, 2015). In this manner, Pakistan is observed to have the skilled workforce in the construction industry, which eventually indicates strong economic prospects in the construction industry.Pakistan tends to have the potential to become one of the largest economy in the twenty-first century due to the increasing rate of gross domestic product and economic potential (Haseeb et al., 2011).

The total gross domestic product of Pakistan is made up of 20.9% contribution from agriculture sector, 20.3% from industrial sector and 58.8% from services sector (GoP, 2015). Moreover, the construction industry of Pakistan contributed 12% in the total gross domestic product in the year 2015 and has witnessed a growth rate of 7.05% since the preceding year (GoP, 2015). It eventually indicates the increased focus towards the development of infrastructure in the country by means of incorporating economic activity in the construction industry.

The development of infrastructure and efficient means of capital utilization are considered as a major challenge faced by Pakistan. It has been implied that the country needs the total investment of $150 billion in order to meet the exceedingly high growth of population by the year 2018 (SBF, 2013). In this instance, it is estimated that approximately 300,000 housing units are required to be constructed in order to meet the demand of accommodation among the increasing population. In this instance, it requires the construction firms to become efficient by means of enhancing quality and cost efficiency to meet the national objectives by means of implementing Sig Sigma in the construction work processes.

The construction industry of Pakistan provides strong financial prospects for the investors, however, it also faces operational challenges by means of construction delay in the projects. The prevalence of construction delay increases the operational cost and reduces the profitability by means of increased labor cost and duration. The scarcity of power and electricity in the country also requires adequate planning that can ensure the effective use of organizational strengths in an effective manner. The construction industry is focused on the acquisition of technological advancements in order to ensure efficiency in the construction projects (Haseeb et al., 2011).

The construction industry of Pakistan incorporates effective risk management techniques in order to enhance the quality of services. It has been observed that the possibility of risks in the construction projects is not analyzed and hence, adequate strategies are not implemented to reduce the prevalence of issues that hinder the productivity. The of informal and unstructured work mechanism reduces the profitability prospects, whereas lack of advanced information about construction techniques and work efficiency reduces the ability to achieve broader financial and business prospects (Choudhry & Iqbal, 2012).

The reduction of defects in the construction sector by means of reducing risks has been observed in Pakistan. Moreover, the implementation of Total Quality Management in the construction industry is also evident in the construction industry. In this instance, the management of the construction companies is observed to be highly associated in the implementation of Total Quality Management practices. It helps in increasing the quality assurance by means of incorporating process efficiency, however, it focuses on maintaining the existing quality standards in the work processes and hence, hinders the organization’s capability to incorporate process efficiency and process innovation (Memon et al., 2013).

It is implied that the construction sector of Pakistan is focused on the implementation of Total Quality Management in the work processes and lacks the effective implementation of Six Sigma. It has been observed that Six Sigma focuses on determining the defects and possible hindering mechanism in the work processes and incorporates process innovation in order to ensure the prevalence of high quality (Tjahjono et al., 2010). In this instance, considering the issues related to defects and inadequate identification of process risks, the implementation of Six Sigma is required in the construction industry of Pakistan.

The quality management issues in the construction industry are prominent and require the implementation of effective practices that can increase the extent of quality. Moreover, lack of information about the effectiveness and implementation of Six Sigma is also observed among the management of the construction industry. It eventually reduces the prospects for increasing quality and achieving process efficiency in the construction industry. The business firms are focused towards increasing organizational profitability and productivity by means of acquiring the business opportunity in the construction industry (Pheng & Hui, 2004; Zhang, 2014).

It is observed that Pakistan lacks the number of consultants and professionals who are adept at the Six Sigma, which eventually reduces the construction firms’ inclination towards the implementation of Six Sigma. The prevalence of quality management in construction firms is found to be stagnant due to the anecdote that incorporates quality management as a manufacturing or operational concern (Zhang et al., 2012). The growth prospects in the construction industry require the effective utilization of time, money and resources to meet the organizational and national objectives. In this instance, it is essential that that the current trends in Six Sigma are enlightened in accordance with the empirical understanding of these trends in the construction industry of Pakistan

The management of the firms in construction industry are focused towards enhancing the profitability by means of cost reduction, maintaining existing quality standards and following traditional quality assurance practices. In this manner, it is highly required that the extent of knowledge about Six Sigma, firms’ intention and capability to implement Six Sigma in the construction industry of Pakistan is identified. Therefore, the current study aims to determine the knowledge, intention and capability that is required to implement Six Sigma in the construction industry of Pakistan so that adequate implementation strategies for Six Sigma can be proposed.

1.3 Significance of the Study

The economic development in Pakistan is highly dependent on the productivity of the construction industry because the prevalence of infrastructure by means of flyover, dams, bridges, buildings, residential schemes and power generating facilities increases the employment rate in the country. It also attracts the foreign and local investors due to the prevalence of infrastructure to support their business operations in the country. The increase in employment rate effects the per capita income of the country and results in the cycle of economic development in the country(Zou& Chau, 2014).

The government policy towards economic and infrastructure development provides the firms in the construction industry with the opportunity to enhance their business operations. It provides positive business prospects for the construction firms due to the availability of construction projects and trained labor. The government of Pakistan has developed a structural reform program, in which the policy towards foreign direct investment has been made attractive. The government’s focus towards human resource development by means of offering skill development opportunities eventually increases the availability of potential workforce in the country. The decreased oil prices and development opportunities increases the profit potential in the manufacturing sector and hence, incorporates positive financial prospects for the construction industry (GoP, 2015).

The engineering and quality management techniques in the construction industry is required to be enhanced in order to achieve the process efficiency and enhance the quality standards. The management in the firms in construction sector are required to incorporate such work practices that enhance the extent of quality and can ensure increased productivity. The firms in construction industry also have the profit formula that focuses on the achievement of adequate return on investment and ensures profitability. In this instance, the effective utilization of resources, reduction of delays in the work processes and process innovation is required to reduce hindrance in the work processes(Haseeb et al., 2011).

In this instance, it is essential that the research in the engineering and quality management is incorporated in the construction industry of Pakistan in order to determine the prevalence of current trends in the implementation of Six Sigma. Considering the hindered extend of quality management, Six Sigma can provide an effective means of determining the prevalence of inefficient work processes that cause delays and hindrances in projects and can enhance the overall quality. The increased focus of government towards the infrastructure development requires the construction industry to become efficient in order to meet the national economic development objectives in an effective manner (SBF, 2013).

The construction industry required to understand the significance of adopting quality management practices in order to ensure productivity and profitability by means of enhanced quality. Moreover, government delegates also require better exposure towards the significance of quality management practices because it can contribute in the achievement of national economic objectives (Haseeb et al., 2011). The management of firms in construction industry also needs to understand the significance of such quality practices so that the implementation mechanism can be delegated in firms in an effective manner.

Shah et al. (2016) presented the framework developed on the basis of Six Sigma principles, which was also accepted by the construction professional in Pakistan. However, further study enlightened that the construction firms lack the resources to implement the framework incorporating the Six Sigma principles. In this manner, gap between the prevalence of Six Sigma framework and firm’s inability to implement this framework has been determined. In this instance, it is essential that current trends in Six sigma in the construction industry of Pakistan are determined in order to understand the successful and hindering practices in the construction industry. It will eventually help in determining the effective and improvement areas with respect to the extent of quality.

However, it is essential that the formal quality standards are developed at national level by means of developing formal regulations for the implementation of quality management principles. The lack of formal regulations to incorporate the implementation of quality management practices also hinders the firm’s potential to take proactive measures in the implementation of such practices (Shah et al., 2016). Therefore, in order to develop formal regulations, the concerned authorities are required to understand the significance of quality management practices in the construction industry. Moreover, the management in the construction firms also need to understand the significance of such practices at an organizational and national level so that they can develop adequate implementation plans and adopt the formal quality standards (Zhang et al., 2012).

The prevalence of formal quality standard at the national level will encourage the construction firms to consider the implementation of Six Sigma in the work processes because Six Sigma focuses on enhancing the quality by means of incorporating process efficiency. In this manner, the focus towards the implementation of Six Sigma will take place when the significance of development effective management frameworks for construction projects will be determined. Therefore, it has intrigued the researches to develop the quality management framework that can be implemented in the construction industry.

1.4 Purpose of the Study

The current study is aimed to understand the attitude of firms towards Six Sigma in the construction industry in Pakistan. It will help in understanding the readiness of construction firms in order to implement the Six Sigma mechanism in the work processes. Similarly, the study will indicate the extent to which Six Sigma has been implied in the construction companies by means of determining the prior knowledge of Six Sigma in the organization. This study also aims to highlight the current extent of knowledge prevailing among the construction professionals about the effective utilization of Six Sigma.

It will eventually help in determining the extent to which construction companies understand the effectiveness of Six Sigma in the work processes. Moreover, the current study intends to determine the need of construction companies wanting to implement Six Sigma in work processes. This study is objectified to enlighten the dearth of requisite knowledge among the construction professionals required to implement Six Sigma. In this instance, this study will ascertain the prevalence of Six Sigma knowledge and adequate training need that is required to be implied in the construction industry of Pakistan.

1.5 Research Questions and Research Objectives

The current study is aimed to address the following research questions:

RQ1: What are the current trends in Six Sigma in the construction industry in Pakistan?

RQ2: How adequately has Six Sigma been implemented in the construction industry in Pakistan?

RQ3: What is the extent of adequate knowledge of Six Sigma in the construction companies in Pakistan?

RQ4: To what extent do construction companies want to implement Six Sigma but lack the requisite knowledge?

RQ5: Are construction companies aware about the effectiveness of Six Sigma in Pakistan?

RQ6: Is Six Sigma knowledge and training easily accessible and available in Pakistan for its practical application in the construction industry?

The current study is aimed to address the following research objectives:

RO1: To determine the current trends in Six Sigma in the construction industry in Pakistan.

RO2: To determine the extent to which Six Sigma has been implemented in the construction industry in Pakistan.

RO3: To determine the extent to which the construction companies in Pakistan have adequate knowledge of Six Sigma.

RO4: To determine the extent to which construction companies want to implement Six Sigma but lack the requisite knowledge.

RO5: To determine the extent of awareness in the construction companies about the effectiveness of Six Sigma in Pakistan.

RO6: To determine the accessibility and availability of Six Sigma knowledge in Pakistan for its practical application in the construction industry.

1.6 Assumptions

There are several assumptions incorporated in this study and the most prominent assumption accounts for the fact that the managers in the construction companies will be able to provide informed opinion about the prevalence of Six Sigma. Moreover, it is also assumed that the quality of training and development about Six Sigma in Pakistan is considerably similar to the extent training and development about Six Sigma in the United States. It is also assumed that the construction companies in Pakistan can implement Six Sigma standard and practices in an effective manner.

1.7 Limitations and Delimitations

The current study will account for the construction industry in Pakistan and hence, it will not provide any research implications or empirical understanding for the current trends in Six Sigma in any other industry. The study will utilize the quantitative approach for the collection of data by means of measuring the prevalence of Sig Sigma practices on scale. In this manner, it will not encompass qualitative approach to provide extensive insights about the trends in Six Sigma.

1.8 Definition of Terms

1.8.1 Quality Management

It accounts for the effective administration of work processes to sustain the quality standards. It addresses policy, planning, assurance, control and improvement in the effective maintenance of quality in the work processes(Memon et al., 2013).

1.8.2 Six Sigma

It accounts for the systematic approach that is focused to eliminate the prevalence of defects from the work processes(Banawi& Bilec, 2014).

CHAPTER 2: Literature Review

2.1 Six Sigma and Quality Management

The improvement in work processes is required to increase the efficiency of work processes and achieve positive bottom-line. The quality of product and services offered by the company contributes in providing the company with the competitive advantage. The strategic decisions related to the quality enhancement by means of reducing the prevalence of quality issues and defects from the overall business operations requires the implementation of quality control practices that ensure process improvement and consistent quality throughout the work processes. The significance of such practices is considered prominent in business sector regardless of the type of industry because it focuses on enhancing the financial prospects and quality of products and services (Pepper& Spedding, 2010).

Six Sigma accounts for the statistical means of identifying the prevalence of defect in the work processes. In this instance, it helps in enlightening the systematic approach that leads towards process improvement. It has been implied that Six Sigma provides a structured approach in order to ensure the prevalence of process improvement, in which an outline addressing the sequence of define, measure, analyze, improve and control is incorporated. It has been observed that each sequence indicates the process control, experimental design and response methodology to provide the organizations with the adequate benefits. It also provides the effective means of measuring, analyzing, and improving the critical procedures so that the production mechanism can remain under control and provide optimum output (Tjahjono et al. 2010).

Sigma addresses the inconsistency in incidents by means of enlightening the variance in the overall process, whereas Six Sigma represents the benchmark statistics that indicate the prevalence of 3.4 variance of defects per million opportunities, also known as DPMO. Six Sigma was introduced and implemented by General Electric and Motorola in early 1980s, where it was considered as an effective management tool to reduce the number of defects in the production. It was implemented in the production processes of General Electric and Motorola, however, both companies utilized Six Sigma in order to achieve different business objectives (Banawi& Bilec, 2014).

The effective implementation of Six Sigma helped Motorola, which was focused on ensuring long-term business prospects, helped the organization to save 14 billion dollars over a period of ten years. Similarly, General Electric, which was focused on retaining its market share, successfully increased its sales by 1.5 billion dollars during a course of one year. It eventually indicates the effectiveness of implementation Six Sigma in the business operations in order to achieve the business objectives. After it evidence of success in Motorola and General Electric, the strategic implementation of Six Sigma has been implied in several industries to achieve the organizational objectives (Banawi& Bilec, 2014).

Six Sigma is considered as the mechanism of process improvement in which the focus towards continuous improvement is implied by means of breakthrough processes. It is also considered as an effective means of strategy that can help in reducing the extent of defects in the overall work processes. It focuses in reducing the number of defects which is found to be as low as 3.4 incidents out of million incidents. In this manner, it encompasses the development of a structured methodology that helps in the evaluation of the work processes and identification of the hindering and time-taking tasks. It also supports the problem-solving mechanism in order to address the hindering factors and replace the work processes with efficient tasks (Gamal Aboelmaged, 2010).

Six Sigma is incorporated at a strategic level, which eventually depicts that it is highly required that it is integrated with the business strategy of the organization in order to ensure the integration of business activities with the quality enhancement mechanism. It focuses on exceeding the extent of quality standards in the organization and is found to be applicable in manufacturing and service sector. The structured approach of six Sigma incorporated DMAIC in order to design such processes that ensure the elimination of errors and defects by means of effective definition, measurement, analysis, improvement and control in the operations. The effective implementation of Six Sigma results in the reduce number of work cycles, increased product quality, cost efficiency, time efficiency, profitability and increased market share (Ismyrlis& Moschidis, 2013).

The effective implementation of Six Sigma requires top-down approach, in which the management of the organization is required to delegate and embed the Six Sigma practices among the employees and work process. In this instance, effective participation and commitment of management is required to increase the overall quality of work processes. Moreover, the development of performance metrics is also essential to management the quality enhancement mechanism, in which the current extent of delays or defect in a million incidents, defects per unit and rolled throughput yield is determined. It helps in determining the effectiveness of Six Sigma practices by means of measuring the organizational performance. It also provides the management with the improvement prospects when the performance objectives are underachieved (Gamal Aboelmaged, 2010).

There are critical factors that are required to be addressed in order to ensure the effective implementation of Six Sigma, in which pre-requisite commitment and participation of management is essential. It also supports the implementation mechanism throughout the business stages and requires cultural change in the organization. In this instance, the development of organizational philosophy, values and culture is required to be directed towards the effective adoption of Six Sigma practices. The effective utilization of statistical tools is also required in order to monitor the effects of Six Sigma implementation and integrate the results with the financial performance of the organization (Ismyrlis& Moschidis, 2013).

2.2 Six Sigma in Construction Industry

The construction industry is comprised of complex work processes, in which work tasks are combined or interdependent, production flow is complex and work cycle is extensive. The construction projects incorporate numerous work structures in the completion of a single project, which eventually requires the efficient mechanisms of quality management. It is also observed that the construction industry is comprised of a large quantity of concrete and extensive management procedures that are highly bureaucratic in nature. It eventually leads towards inadequate delays in the completion of the project and hinders the overall quality (Tchidi et al., 2012).

The prevalence of project delays is considered as a prominent concern the construction industry. Similarly, the occurrence of design errors, late delivery of construction material, equipment malfunctions, inadequate utilization of labor and increased physical demand in construction projects hinders the work efficiency. In this instance, synergy in Six Sigma mechanism with the breakdown activities in construction projects is required, which results in the development of Lean Six Sigma practices. In this instance, the objective of quality enhancement addresses the shareholder value by means of achieving a higher extent of customer satisfaction, efficient resource utilization, cost and time efficiency (Ozug et al., 2012).

Six Sigma has been modified in order to implement in the construction industry, in which traditional DMAIC practices are replaced by DCOV practices. The DCOV practices encompass the definition, characterization, optimization and validity in the work processes, which is found to be highly effective in the achievement of quality objectives. It is implied that Six Sigma based on DCOV practices is able improve the work processes in the construction projects and determines the adequate mix of quality enhancement mechanisms that ensure the effectiveness of the overall construction projects. However, the implementation of DCOV practices via Six Sigma is highly dependent of the effective collaboration between construction managers, architects, engineers and Six Sigma consultants to ensure its implementation throughout the construction stages of project (Tchidi et al., 2012).

It has been implied that the implementation of traditional practices in Six Sigma fail to address the business objectives in construction industry. It eventually leads towards the enhancing the prospects of Six Sigma in accordance with the work processes in construction industry. The construction projects are highly integrated due to which it becomes challenging for the construction and project managers to ensure that quality enhancement practices are implemented at every stage of the project (Ozug et al., 2012). In this instance, the study conducted by Ozug et al. (2012) provided the Six Sigma design that was integrated with lean practices. The prevalence of Lean Six Sigma in the construction industry was considered to be effective because these practices are focused on quality enhancement and development of efficient work flow.

The increasing demand of customers towards high quality at competitive costs has increased the competition in the construction industry. The realization of the significance of construction industry in the economic activity has also increased the extent of performance from the construction industry which eventually requires the higher extent of efficiency in order to meet the increasing demand of construction. The process improvement is considered as an internal challenge which is required to be addressed by the management of the construction organization (Bos et al., 2014).

In this instance, Lean Six Sigma is considered as an effective approach to address the concerns related to process improvement in the construction organization. The effectiveness of Six Sigma in construction industry is highly dependent on the development of effective monitoring mechanism in order to determine the performance of the organization and Six Sigma practices. The construction companies are focused towards determining the overall performance of the organization rather than focusing on the performance of a specific project. In this manner, it becomes difficult to determine the effectiveness of Six Sigma in a specific project (Lertwattanapongchai& William, 2014).

It is implied that the performance measurement of Six Sigma is required to be conducted separately for every project because different construction projects tend to vary from one another. For example, the extent of Six Sigma in the quality enhancement of dams construction will not be similar for the construction of a residential building. In this instance, the organizations are required to modify the elements of Six Sigma in accordance with the individual project objectives and evaluate the effectiveness of Six Sigma practices with respect to each project (Bos et al., 2014).

The implementation of Six Sigma has been witnessed at a global level due to increased competition and increased demand. The construction industry is also objectified towards addressing the need of its customers by means of offering high quality infrastructure. The construction industry is found to be highly resistant to organizational change and is found to be focusing on short-term strategies in order to acquire cost-efficiency. It results in poor performance due to which inadequate delays in project takes place. It is observed that quality management techniques are implemented in the construction industry, however, these practices are limited to the operational mechanism of the projects (Leonard, 2010).

The construction industry understands the effectiveness of quality management systems, however, the senior management of the organization remains resistant towards incorporating organizational change followed by the implementation of quality management practices. It is required that focus on research and investments in the development of conventional quality management models incorporating Six Sigma are required in the construction industry. The prevalence of audit and performance analysis is also required to be implemented in the construction industry so that different aspects of Six Sigma and its effects on the extent of quality can be determined (Lertwattanapongchai& William, 2014).

The prevalence of project scheduling approach, information systems to manage project deadlines and training and development of engineers with respect to the quality management practices has been observed in the construction industry. However, the quality standards and project scheduling approaches are found to be limited to the construction or operational mechanism in the construction firms. The management in construction firms is highly aware about the need of quality management approaches and significance of Six Sigma practices, however, the management is found to be resistant towards taking proactive measures to implement Six Sigma due to the high cost of implementation (Leonard, 2010).

2.3 Six Sigma in Pakistan

The prevalence of Six Sigma has been observed in the manufacturing industry in Pakistan, however, its implementation in the construction industry is found to be understudied. It has been implied that manufacturing industry encompasses the work processes that are repeated throughout the production mechanism, which eventually increases the workflow with the duration of time. On the contrary, construction industry incorporates the construction projects that vary in functions, whereas some basic activities related to procurement, delivery and efficient utilization of labor are found to be constant (Khan et al., 2008).

In this instance, it has been argued that the quality management practices that are implemented in the manufacturing industry are not able to address the mechanism of work processes that takes place in the construction industry. It has been observed that the implementation of quality management practices in the construction industry in Pakistan is in the inception stage, due to which it is highly essential that the management in the construction industry takes proactive steps in order to implement holistic quality management practices. The construction industry in Pakistan lacks the adequate awareness about the effectiveness of quality management practices, which is also considered as a major reason of undermined status of quality management systems (Khan et al., 2008).

The development of information systems is highly required in order to ensure the effective implementation of Six Sigma. It has been argued that the implementation of technological advancements is found to be at a slower pace in Pakistan and hence, the implementation and inclination towards adopting Six Sigma remains hindered. It is implied that Six Sigma requires the effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism at every stage of production or work processes, which can be done with the assistance of information systems. The construction industry is found to be resistant towards the adoption of new technology, which eventually hinders the prospects for the implementation of Six Sigma (Memon et al., 2012).

The quality standards tend to differ in the construction industry in Pakistan because they are developed and deployed by the respective management of the organization. It eventually hinders the effectiveness of a standard quality enhancement procedure due to lack of necessary quality guidelines. It also challenges the effectiveness of a standard Six sigma mechanism in the construction industry because the quality standards vary from organization to organization. Moreover, the internal audit system is also not equivalent among the construction organizations and hence, it also hinders the effectiveness of Six Sigma practices in the Pakistani context.

The study conducted by Memon et al. (2013) indicated that the effective implementation of ISO 9001 standards is also found to be hindered in Pakistan, which is also considered as a major reason for the prevalence of inefficient quality standards. It is implied that the effective implementation of ISO 9001 standard can result in the development of an organizational structure that will be focused towards the consistent quality management objectives in the industry. It can also provide assistance in the development of quality management philosophy in the organization and hence, can direct the organization to utilize its full potential towards the achievement of quality objectives (Parast, 2011).

The construction industry in Pakistan is found to be focused towards customer satisfaction and profitability, which is also an essential aspect of business. However, it is also observed that the quality of final project or project completion is considered less significant than the extent of profitability. It eventually contradicts with the long-term prospects of the business because the construction organizations remain focused towards increasing profitability by means of developing the infrastructure that is preferred by the customers (Parast, 2011).

The study conducted by Memon et al. (2013) indicated that the construction organizations highly consider the prevalence of defects and delays as a major concern. In this instance, the need for the implementation of quality management practices is also observed. However, the implementation of quality management practices remains restricted to the operations department in the construction organization, due to which overall efficiency in the work processes is not achieved. The prevalence of traditional practices in the construction industry in Pakistan is observed, which also incorporates resistance towards the implementation Six Sigma in Pakistan.

The construction industry also lacks the organizational citizenship behavior among the employees due to which the employees remain inactive in utilizing their full potential towards the achievement of work processes. The employees are found to be less motivated towards accepting change in the organizational work processes and lack an adequate level of dedication. It eventually hinders their inclination towards enhancing their knowledge, skills and abilities in order to remain competitive and innovative. Similarly, organizations lack policy related to directing employees towards engaging in such practices that can ensure the prevalence of latest knowledge and skills. In this manner, the construction industry fails to achieve the quality objectives and hinders the implementation of conventional means of quality enhancement (Zu et al., 2008).

The construction industry in Pakistan is observed to be following the traditional practices which is making the industry unable to accomplish construction projects in a specific duration of time. The quality management practices are somewhat limited to specific departments, whereas implementation of Six Sigma is required to be deployed in the overall functions of the organization. It eventually requires the deployment of Six Sigma practices at the strategic level of the organization in order to ensure its effectiveness. Moreover, the management is found to be less concerned about overachieving the process schedule and hence, the effective implementation of Six Sigma remains overlooked (Khan et al., 2008).

2.4 Six Sigma and Training and Development

The effective implementation of Six Sigma is dependent on the effective training and development process in the organization. The implementation process incorporates organizational change, in which the work processes are improved and enhanced. It eventually requires the employees to be highly competitive and efficient to carry out improved work processes in an effective manner. The effective delegation of Six Sigma requires the top management to understand the effectiveness of six Sigma and allocate adequate resources to support the implementation mechanism. In this instance, it requires the prevalence of training and development at organizational level so that leadership can understand the prospects of quality enhancement in an effective manner (Antony, 2014).

The employees also require the adequate skills and abilities to contribute in the implementation of Six Sigma and carry out Six Sigma practices in an effective manner. In this instance, the formal training mechanism is required, which eventually increases operational cost of the organization. However, it is required that such financial aspects should be considered as a long-term investment and the organization should focus towards transforming into a learning organization in order to become highly competitive and efficient (Antony& Karaminas, 2016).

The implementation of Six Sigma requires the implementation of information systems that can monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of quality management practices in accordance with different construction projects. It also requires the technical training of employees in order to determine the effectiveness of Six Sigma by using adequate statistics and analyses. In this manner, the prevalence of training need takes places in order to equip employees with the skills that are necessary to ensure the consistent effectiveness of Six Sigma throughout the work processes (Antony, 2014).

The training programs, mainly comprising of Six Sigma Black Belts, are developed in order to provide managers and project technicians with the practical understanding of implementing Six Sigma. It focuses on equipping employees with the statistical tools that are considered prominent in the implementation of Six Sigma at the organizational level. Moreover, it also encompasses the prevalence of soft skills, by means of efficient problem-solving, empowerment, effective communication and feedback in the organization. It also enlightens the managers with the need identification of implementing Six Sigma in the work processes so that the decision of its implementation can be made (Antony& Karaminas, 2016).

The training and development required in the implementation of Six Sigma is not limited to the managers, engineers and architects. It requires that the organization involves departmental managers and vendors so that collaborative approach in its implementation can be incorporated in an effective manner. It has the tendency to provide the organization with a strong competitive edge over its competitors and can result in long-term profitability and efficiency. The managers are required to incorporate innovative solutions in accordance with the Six Sigma practices that ensure that the innovative solutions are supported by the vendors or suppliers to ensure efficient delivery of construction material and machinery (Antony, 2012).

The implementation of Six Sigma is considered as a highly innovation approach, due to which diffusion of innovation is addressed in its implementation. In this instance, early adopters or highly innovative or conventional organizations are considered to implement the Six Sigma design in the work processes. It eventually makes such organizations an early adopter of this approach and these organizations become persuaders or referents in the industry. It helps in the development of quality benchmarks that eventually intrigues other organization to follow the similar approach and remain competitive in the industry (Antony, 2012).

It also results in the transfer of knowledge from one organization to the other, in which organizations tend to observe implementation techniques, adapt these techniques in accordance with their work processes. It eventually helps the managers to understand the effectiveness of such practices and intrigues them to implement similar or more competitive practices to achieve the quality and performance objectives. It is argued that the effective implementation of Six Sigma is highly dependent on the successful transfer of knowledge incorporated by the replication and adaption of quality management practices (McAdam et al., 2014).

The implementation of Six Sigma highly effects the extent to which managers, work teams and subordinates carry out their work related tasks. Its implementation modifies the work-related aspects of the job and requires the employees to learn the necessary skills that are required to accomplish such tasks and duties. It eventually increases the need of training and development in the organization and directs the organizational focus towards transforming its human resource into the competitive human capital that can ensure cost-efficiency and process improvement in the long-term (Antony& Karaminas, 2016).

Six Sigma focuses on enhancing the overall quality of the work process in the construction industry, which eventually includes all functions and departments in the construction organization. It eventually indicates that all the functional managers in the organization are required to be enlightened with the effectiveness of Six sigma by means of identifying hindrances in the work processes. However, the effectiveness of Six Sigma training programs is highly dependent on the identification of learning needs among the employees and their extent of readiness to learn new skills. It eventually directs the prevalence of effective implementation towards the managers who are required to motivate the employees towards the acquisition of new skills and competencies in order to practice the elements of Six Sigma in the work processes (McAdam et al., 2014).

In this instance, the employees are required to be motivated intrinsically in order to utilize their potential towards the learning practices. Moreover, effective incorporating of continuous learning and development is also required at the strategic level in order to make employees compliant with the learning aspects of their job. Moreover, employees are required to be enlightened with their contribution in the achievement of organizational objectives so that employees can take proactive measures in enhancing their skills and become highly compliant with the Six Sigma practices in the organization (Antony, 2014).

The practice of transformational leadership is also required to development training and development inclinations among the employees. It helps the managers to assist employees with respect to their learning needs and provides the employees with the broad prospects of their job. It also helps in the development of challenging environment that makes the employees to enhance their skills by means of engaging in learning practices. Moreover, it is also essential that the organizations provide effective learning and development opportunities to the employees to provide them with the adequate career development prospects and intrigue them to become highly competitive by means of understanding and practicing Six Sigma mechanism (Laureani& Antony, 2015).

The employees develop strong inclinations towards learning activities and training opportunities when they are evaluated on the basis of their performance. It intrigues the employees to perform at a higher level, whereas the employee performance standard should address the skills and abilities that are required to implement Six Sigma practices. In this manner, it can intrigue the employees to engage in learning and development practices in order to incorporate an optimum level of individual performance. It eventually indicates that the effective integration of Six Sigma with the individual performance of employees and training objectives is essential to ensure the effective deployment of Six Sigma in the organization. Therefore, integrating Six Sigma practices with training objectives and performance metrics of employees can direct the organizational focus towards the implementation of Six Sigma throughout the work processes in the organization (Antony, 2012).

2.5 Six Sigma and Implementation Barriers

The study conducted by Desale et al. (2013) was aimed to investigate the barriers that construction companies face in the implementation of Six Sigma in developing countries. It is observed that Six Sigma is considered as a most prominent value enhancement strategy in developed countries, however, its effectiveness in developing countries remains undermined. It is implied that Six Sigma is an effective means of increasing quality, reducing defects, increasing output and profitability of the organizations. However, due to lack of innovation, resistance towards the implementation of Six Sigma has been observed in the developing countries. Moreover, the prevalence of distrust among private organizations and government prevails due to which private companies tend to remain less responsive towards the achievement of national objectives and hence, disregard the need of quality enhancement.

The technological barriers are also observed in the effective implementation of Six Sigma because the construction industry is highly dependent on construction machinery and planning technologies. The process improvement in order to enhance quality requires the prevalence of updated technology in order to support the tangible and intangible aspects of construction project. The construction industry tends to adhere towards the traditional work processes and prefer manual labor than automation, which eventually reduces the prospects for efficiency, increases time and defects (Naslund, 2008).

The financial barriers are also observed in the effective implementation of Six Sigma because the prevalence of automation, process efficiency and training of employees require financial resources. The implementation of change process in organization also requires the hiring of change agents in order incorporate organizational change, which eventually incurs additional cost. The implementation of Six Sigma provides cost efficiency, but it also requires capital investment by means of tangible resources, which is considered as a significant challenge for the construction companies (McAdam et al., 2014).

Moreover, accounting techniques also incorporate challenge in the implementation because Six Sigma reduces the prevalence of defects in the product which can enhance quality but decrease the overall productivity. The extent of productivity is comprised of high quality and efficient utilization of resources; however, the traditional managerial and accounting aspects focus on the extent of productivity without considering the extent of productivity in a broader perspective (Antony, 2012).

The implementation of Six Sigma requires the organizational inclination towards incorporating overall efficiency and quality in the work processes. In this instance, it is required that organizational change takes place and change practices, by means of Six Sigma practices, is delegated in the organization from top management. Similarly, the respective departments of the organization are required to contribute in the effective implementation of Six Sigma, rather than depending of operations department to incorporate Six Sigma implementation. In this instance, the capital requirement is required to be addressed by the finance department, the human resource department should provide training and development opportunities to the employees (McAdam et al., 2014).

Moreover, the marketing department should enlighten the internal and external stakeholders and government with the effectiveness of Six Sigma and organizational inclination towards it, so that the organization can acquire competitive advantage from the support of related stakeholders. Similarly, the procurement department also needs to manage the inventory in such manner that the aspects of Six Sigma are addressed in an effective manner, whereas the information technology department can also consider the implementation of adequate project management solutions so that managerial staff can monitor, evaluate and improve the mechanism of Six Sigma practices (Banawi& Bilec, 2014).

The cultural factor can also hinder the effective implementation of Six Sigma practices in the work processes of the construction firm. The culture encompasses the attitude, behavior and norms of the organization that are embedded in the work processes. The employees tend to possess restrictive attitude towards the adoption of conventional practices and can also develop resistance to accept change in the organization. Moreover, the employees may not perceive the conventional quality practices or Six Sigma effective enough to achieve the organizational objectives. It is also implied that the organizational culture may not incline towards innovation, which can hinder the employees’ inclination towards the accepting and implementing the innovative and conventional solutions to enhance quality (Haseeb et al., 2011).

Leadership, communication system and motivation level in the organization also plays a prominent role in the effective implementation of Six Sigma. In this instance, lack of transformational and effective leadership can hinder the employees’ inclination towards accepting the conventional practices of quality enhancement, whereas inadequate communication systems in the organization can cause ambiguity among the employees related to the process improvement and quality enhancement practices, which can eventually reduce morale in the organization. The learning organizations tend to have positive attitude and high motivation among employees towards the adoption of new practices, however, in developing countries, the extent of positive attitude is low, which eventually hinders the implementation of quality enhancement practices in the organization (Antony, 2012).

Six Sigma was initially developed in order to meet the quality enhancement objectives in the manufacturing industry. It eventually diverts the traditional managers towards considering that Six Sigma can provide effective results in the manufacturing industry where the manufacturing process is limited to the production of units. In this instance, the managers do not consider the implications of Six Sigma in the construction industry and hence, these managers do not take proactive measures in developing company-focused Six Sigma framework in order to meet the quality objectives (Ismyrlis& Moschidis, 2013).

The work processes in the construction industry include planning mechanism at the company headquarters whereas construction takes place at different sites. In this instance, it becomes challenging to integrate the work process that take place at different locations without the prevalence of adequate integrating strategies by means of implementing Six Sigma at the organizational level. The resistance in the implementation of Six Sigma is also observed because the employees in the construction industry are unskilled with respect to the technological advancements and hence, they consider that the implementation of innovative solution by means of quality enhancement practices may lead towards job insecurity (Antony, 2012).

It eventually reduces the inclination towards the acceptance and implementation of Six Sigma practices at the organizational level. Moreover, the traditional work processes in construction industry are focused towards the developing efficiency in the project by means of incorporating effective project management techniques by the project managers. In this manner, the prevalence of efficiency is considered to be limited to the role of project managers. Therefore, the implementation of six Sigma at the organizational level remains hindered due to the prevalence of misconception about the role of project managers in the construction industry (Parast, 2011).

The implementation of Six Sigma has been remained challenging the construction industry because the construction portfolio of company significantly differs in the industry. In this instance, the development of integrated Six Sigma practices is required so that the different projects can be incorporated with the quality enhancement mechanism. The implementation of Six Sigma is a one time procedure, however, in construction industry, it is required that the Six Sigma should be modified in accordance with different characteristics, objectives and requirements of different construction projects. It eventually indicates that the project managers, engineers, consultant engineers and architects should be adept at the practical implementation of Six Sigma in the work processes in order to ensure the consistent implementation of Six Sigma throughout the portfolio of the construction companies (Bos et al., 2014).

The inadequate allocation of resources is also observed which makes the implementation of Six Sigma extremely challenging. The resources are comprised of human and financial resources, and the construction organizations tend to follow traditional practices, which eventually hinders the investment prospects in such organizations. The dearth in the development of quality management policies is observed, which eventually reduces the possibility of incorporating proactive means and innovation quality systems in the organization. Moreover, feedback mechanism also plays a prominent role in the effective implementation of Six Sigma. It is observed that the feedback mechanism remains hindered in the construction organizations which eventually keeps the management unaware about the project and system issues that cause inefficiency (Khan et al., 2008).

It has been argued that in some organizations, feedback is not welcomed from the subordinates, whereas in some organizations, feedback is not provided with the relevant significance. In this instance, the gap in the identification of unnecessary delays remains unnoticed. The organizational focus developing adequate policies to ensure implementation of Six Sigma remains hindered and the focus towards quality enhancement refrains from the development of adequate action plan for the achievement of quality objectives (Parast, 2011).

Moreover, it is also observed that the quality management practices are not reviewed and evaluated on a continuous basis, due to which the management remains unaware about the hindrances in the current quality management systems in the organization. It also reduces the organizational inclination towards the development of effective quality management design and hence, the organizations remain focused towards utilizing the traditional quality management practices. The effective implementation of Six Sigma is based on the need identification of quality enhancement practices by means of determining the ineffectiveness of traditional quality management mechanism (Khan et al., 2008).

The construction industry also lacks the systematic internal audit mechanism due to which the effectiveness of current quality management practices remain unnoticed and hence, the need for enhancing the quality management practices remains hindered. Moreover, the employees are not empowered to indicate the prevalence of faults and antecedents of delays in the work processes, which is also a major obstacle in the implementation of Six Sigma. The inadequate implementation of ISO 9001 also makes the organizations highly unstructured to address the quality concerns. The effective implementation of ISO 9001 ensures the employees’ responsibility, duties and roles that are necessary in ensuring the quality in work processes (Khan et al., 2008).

The construction industry tends to compete at national level in Pakistan, and considering the similar extent and performance of construction organizations in Pakistan, these organizations lack concern towards competing in accordance with the global standards. Moreover, adequate benchmarking techniques are found to be absent in order to determine the extent of quality incorporating in the construction industry in Pakistan and the extent to which quality prevails in the global construction organizations. In this instance, the organizations remain unaware about their extent of performance and hence, disregard the inclination towards continuous improvement in the work processes (Parast, 2011).

CHAPTER 3: Methodology

3.1 Research Design

The current study incorporates the Explanatory Research in order to understand the prevalence of current trends in Six Sigma in the construction industry in Pakistan. It focuses on determining variables that play a prominent role in the implementation of Six Sigma and understanding the current quality enhancement practices that are carried out in the construction industry. Similarly, explanatory research can also help in identifying the procedural enhancements that are required to be implemented in the Six sigma practices in order to make it relevant to the construction industry in Pakistan.

In this instance, quantitative approach will be utilized in order to address the research objectives of the current study. The data will be collected by means of a structured questionnaire survey that will help in determining the inclinations of the respondents towards the prevalence of Six Sigma in the construction industry in Pakistan. The current research accounts for the cross-sectional study, in which primary data will be collected from the managers in a specific point of time by means of structured questionnaire.

3.2 Participants

The current study is aimed to target the construction industry of Pakistan and hence, the participants will be employed in the construction companies. The participants will be employed at the managerial level in the organization because the effective implementation of Six Sigma accounts for the managerial implications rather than limited to specific department or project team. In this instance, data from the managers in the construction industry will be acquired to carry out the empirical analysis in order to address the research questions of the current study.

There are 210 listed construction companies in Pakistan located in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Sialkot. However, the current study will account for 100 companies located in the major cities of Pakistan, mainly comprising of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, which eventually indicates the sample size of 100 participants in the study. According to Zikmund et al. (2010), the sample size addressing 43% to 51% of the overall population is considered acceptable. In this instance, the current study is addressing 47.6% companies from the overall population, which eventually justified the sample size of the current study.

3.3 Data Collection

The data will be collected by means of an online survey, in which the online questionnaire will be sent to the participants via email. The process of data collection will take initiate after contacting the construction companies via telephone and emails in order to contact the respective managers regarding their participation in the study. The managers will be briefly enlightened about the objective of the current study and the extent to which the findings of the current study can provide adequate managerial implications to increase quality in the construction industry. Afterwards, the managers will be sent an email that will be comprised of a disclaimer, research objectives and questionnaire survey. The disclaimer will ensure the managers about the privacy of their responses and identity and will also provide formal underpinning about the academic use of the current study. The respective managers will fill the survey questionnaire and will send to the researcher, and the data will be prepared for the further analysis.

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3.4 Instrument

The survey questionnaire will account for the 7-point Likert scale, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The survey questionnaire for the current study is as follows:

Age Education Gender Experience
  • 20-25 years
  • Bachelors
  • Male
  • Less than 3 year
  • 26-30 years
  • Masters
  • Female
  • More than 5 years
  • 31-35 years
  • M.Phil
  • More than 10 years
  • 36-40 years
  • PhD
  • More than 15 years
  • 41-45 years
  • Other
  • Above 20 years
  • 46-50 years
  • Over 50 years
1 = Strongly Disagree 4 = Neutral 7 = Strongly Agree

2 = Mostly Disagree 5 = Somewhat Agree

3 = Somewhat Disagree 6 = Mostly Agree

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Current Trends in Six Sigma in Company
Organizational leadership defines, measures, analyzes and improves the business operations
The organization is highly focused towards enhancing quality by means of process efficiency
The organizational vision is focused towards quality enhancement
The organization is highly focused towards waste reduction and reducing unnecessary delays in construction projects
The organization is responsive towards increasing focus on infrastructure in order to meet the customer / national demand
The work processes in the organization take place within an optimum duration
Project management teams (leaders and supervisors) work together in a collaborative manner
The organization is able to accomplish construction projects before initial deadline
Subordinates are highly involved in the problem identification and decision making mechanism
Perceived Effectiveness of Six Sigma in Construction Industry
Six Sigma can increase quality, cost efficiency and time efficiency in construction industry
Current quality management practices are providing satisfactory level of quality in construction industry
The construction industry requires the effective implementation of Six Sigma
Six Sigma will require large capital investments in the construction industry
Prior Knowledge of Six Sigma Among Managers (Awareness)
I understand the theoretical underpinnings of Six Sigma
I have studied Six Sigma during academic career
I have practiced Six Sigma in the construction projects
I have technical certifications in the implementation of Six Sigma
Six Sigma is an effective means to reduce project delays and increase quality
Training Need in Six Sigma
The employees do not understand the Six Sigma practices
Organizational awareness is required to carry out Six Sigma Practices
The employees lack basic skills, knowledge and abilities to implement Six Sigma Practices
The employees require formal training and development to understand Six Sigma practices
The employees need to learn knowledge, skills and abilities for the effective deployment of Six Sigma
The competency of employees with respect to Six Sigma practices can be increased with training

3.5 Data Analysis

The data will be analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 21. The data will be screened for missing values and will be analyzed by using the variance between the means score of responses. It will enlighten the respondents’ inclination towards the current trends, awareness, industrial implications and training need in the construction industry. The current study will incorporate descriptive statistics in order to determine the mean statistics and standard deviation in the responses.

It will help in determining the extent to which the respondents have agreed or disagreed and the extent to which the results tend to differ by means of frequency distribution. Similarly, it will also enlighten the extent to which responses tend to spread apart from the mean values and the extent to which they differ from the square of mean value (Zikmund et al., 2010). The data will also conduct ANOVA test in order to determine the difference between the mean value of current trends of Six Sigma implementation in the construction industry and the extent to which Six Sigma can be effective in the construction industry. The reliability test will also be conducted in order to determine the validity of the instrument that is used in the current study in order to determine the prevalence of consistency and reliability of results in the development of practical implications.

3.6 Threats to Validity

The prevalence of missing values can question the validity of the responses and hence, online survey questionnaire will ensure that missing values are not present in data. The reliability testing of data will also help in determining the extent of validity that the instrument accounts towards the formulation of results. The data can be skewed with respect to the respondents’ inclinations, due to which the data will be checked for the prevalence of outliers and under the presence of outliers, the data will be screened. The data will be analyzed after deriving the mean statistics for each item in order to ensure consistent results. The interpretation of empirical results will be supported with the scholarly articles to ensure that the study is directed towards valid findings.

CHAPTER 4: Results

This chapter encompasses the results that are acquired from the empirical analysis of data. In the first part of this chapter, the descriptive profile of the respondents is presented, whereas the second part encompasses the descriptive statistics of the responses. The third part of the chapter addresses the reliability testing, whereas the research objectives are addressed in the fourth part of this chapter. The current chapter will conclude with the summarization discussion of the acquired results.

4.1 Respondents’ Profile

The current study encompassed the sample size of 100 managers, out of which there were no missing values in the responses due to the prevalence of online instrument. In this manner, the prevalence of missing values were restricted from the data and the descriptive statistics for demographic information was conducted. The descriptive profile of the participants is illustrated in Table 4.1 that addresses the respondents’ age, education level, gender and work experience.

There descriptive profile indicates that there are 25% managers who are aged between 31 to 35 years and this strata is found to be the largest percentage of managers in the sample size of 100 participants. There are 21% managers who are aged between 35 to 40 years, whereas 20% managers account for the age bracket of 41 to 45 years. Moreover, 14% managers are found to be 26 to 30 years-old, however, 10% managers account for age bracket of 20 to 25 years and 46 to 50 years, respectively.

The respondents with the bachelors level of education account for 38% of the sample size, whereas masters level of education is found to be among 39% of the overall sample. There were only 2% participants with the M.Phil. degree, whereas 11% participants indicated the prevalence of other academic qualifications, mainly comprising of Post Graduate Diploma and Post Graduate Certifications.

There overall data was comprised of 10% female and 90% male respondents. It is observed that respondents who had the work experience of less than 3 years accounted for 10% of the overall sample, whereas 25% respondents were found to have the work experience of more than 5 years. Similarly, the respondents with more than 10 years’ experience were found to be 20%, whereas 30% respondents accounted to have the work experience of more than 15 years. There were 15% participants who claimed to have the work experience of more than 20 years. It eventually indicates that the construction industry is employed with highly educated and experienced professionals.

Table 4.1

Respondents’ profile
Variable Category Frequency Percent
Age
20-25 years 10 10.0
26-30 years 14 14.0
31-35 years 25 25.0
36-40 years 21 21.0
41-45 years 20 20.0
46-50 years 10 10.0
Education
Bachelors 38 38.0
Masters 49 49.0
M.Phil. 2 2.0
Other 11 11.0
Gender
Male 90 90.0
Female 10 10.0
Experience
Less than 3 years 10 10.0
More than 5 years 25 25.0
More than 10 years 20 20.0
More than 15 years 30 30.0
Above 20 years 15 15.0

4.2 Analysis of Descriptive Statistics

The current study incorporated the variables that were measured on 7-point Likert Scale, which eventually indicates that the response will be comprised of the value between 1-7. In this instance, the mean value of 4 would be considered moderate, whereas standard deviation will help in determining the extent of agreeability among the respondents. It is implied that the low value of standard deviation indicates a higher level of agreeability in the responses of respondents, whereas high value of standard deviation indicates a low level of agreeability. The results of descriptive statistics are illustrated in Table 4.2.

In this instance, it is observed that Current Trends in Six Sigma (CTSS) indicate the moderate value with 3.5067 mean value, whereas standard deviation accounts for .38175 indicating a high level of agreeability in the responses. Similarly, Perceived Effectiveness of Six Sigma (PESS) is found to have the standard deviation of .29442, which indicates the highest level of agreement among the respondents, however, its mean value is found to be 5.7825 which indicates low level of moderation.

The mean value for Perceived Knowledge of Six Sigma (PKSS) is found to be 4.7920, depicting moderation whereas, standard value accounts for .43291, which indicates the extent of agreement among the respondents. Moreover, Training Need for Six Sigma (TNSS) is found to have the mean value of 6.3383, which indicates that the respondents have highly agreed with the items in this variable. However, it also accounts for the standard deviation of .75339, which eventually indicates low level of agreement among the respondents.

Table 4.2

Descriptive statistics
Variables Mean Std. Deviation
Current Trends in Six Sigma (CTSS) 3.5067 .38175
Perceived Effectiveness of Six Sigma (PESS) 5.7825 .29442
Perceived Knowledge of Six Sigma (PKSS) 4.7920 .43291
Training Need for Six Sigma (TNSS) 6.3383 .75339

4.4 Analysis of Research Objectives

The research objectives of current study are aimed to determine the current trends, extent of implementation, prior knowledge, awareness and training need for Six Sigma in the construction industry in Pakistan. In this instance, the extent of response for each item is determined and illustrated in a graphical manner in order to provide extensive insights about the responses and address the research objectives. The first item of the questionnaire addresses the extent of contribution of organization’s leadership in defining, measuring, analyzing and improving the business operations, and the results are illustrated in Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1

The results indicate that 60% of the total respondents Strongly Disagree that the organizational leadership engages in defining, measuring, analyzing and improving the business operations, whereas 10% respondents Mostly Disagree with this notion and 30% respondents Somewhat Disagree. The overall results indicate that the construction industry in Pakistan lacks the active participation of organization’s leadership in improving the business operations.

Figure 4.2

It is observed that 49% participants Somewhat Agree with the notion that depicts the organizational focus towards quality enhancement, whereas 41% participants mostly agree with this notion. However, 10% respondents indicate Neutral response indicating the prevalence of other inclinations in the organization with respect to the process efficiency in the construction industry in Pakistan. The results are illustrated in Figure 4.2.

Figure 4.3

The results indicate that 39% respondents Strongly Disagree with the prevalence of organizational vision towards quality enhancement, whereas 30% respondents Mostly Disagree with this notion. Similarly, 31% respondents Somewhat Disagree, however, the overall respondents indicate that the organizational vision does not address quality enhancement, which eventually indicates that quality enhancement, by means of Six Sigma, is not embedded in the construction industry in Pakistan. The results are illustrated in figure 4.3.

Figure 4.4

The results indicate that 10% respondents Somewhat Agree with the notion that waste reduction practices and strategies to reduce delays in construction projects are practiced in the organization. However, 79% respondents Mostly agree and 11% respondents Strongly Agree with the implementation of such strategies in the organization. The graphical representation of these results is illustrated in Figure 4.4.

Figure 4.5

The results indicate that 39% participants Strongly Disagree with their organization’s responsiveness towards customer and national demand of building infrastructure. The consistency is results is found with 41% and 20% participants, who Mostly agree and Somewhat Agree with this notion. In this instance, it is observed that construction in Pakistan is not focused towards addressing the business opportunities developed by the national demand of construction projects in the country. The results are illustrated in Figure 4.5.

Figure 4.6

The results illustrated in Figure 4.6 indicate that 11% respondents Strongly Disagree with the idea that the organization is able to accomplish its projects with optimum duration, whereas 48% respondents Strongly Agree with this idea. Similarly, 20% respondents Mostly Disagree, whereas 21% respondents Mostly Agree with this notion. It indicates that the process efficiency in the construction industry in Pakistan varies from company to company.

Figure 4.7

The results illustrated in Figure 4.7 indicate that 10% respondents Somewhat Agree that the project management teams work in a collaborative manner, however, 40% respondents Mostly Agree and 49% respondents Strongly Agree with this notion. It eventually depicts the prevalence of team work in the construction industry in Pakistan and indicates the participation of team members in achieving the organizational objectives.

Figure 4.8

The results illustrated in Figure 4.8 indicate that 11% respondents Strongly Disagree with the organization’s ability to complete the construction projects before the completion of initial deadline. Similarly, 69% respondents Mostly Disagree with this notion and indicate some extent of delay in the completion of construction project. However, 20% respondents Strongly Agree with the organization’s capability to complete the construction projects within initial deadline. It eventually indicates the prevalence of inadequate level of consistency in quality in the construction industry in Pakistan.

Figure 4.9

The results illustrated in Figure 4.9 indicate that 51% respondents Strongly Agree with the active participation of subordinates in the problem identification and decision making in the organization. However, 40% respondents Strongly Disagree, whereas 10% respondents Mostly Disagree with this notion. It eventually indicates that the empowerment of subordinates and participation of subordinates varies on the basis of organizational inclinations due to lack of standard quality mechanism in the construction industry.

Figure 4.10

The results illustrated in Figure 4.10 indicate that 69% managers from the construction industry in Pakistan Somewhat Agree with the effectiveness of Six Sigma in increasing quality, cost and time efficiency in the construction industry. However, 21% respondents Mostly Agree with his notion, whereas 10% respondents indicate Neutral response. It eventually indicates that a large number of managers understand the effectiveness of Six Sigma, however, some managers are unsure about the effectiveness of its implementation in the construction industry.

Figure 4.11

The results illustrated in Figure 4.11 indicated that 41% respondents Somewhat Agree with the effectiveness of current quality management practices in the construction industry, whereas 24% respondents Mostly Agree with this notion. However, 35% respondents Somewhat Agree, which indicates the prevalence of inefficient practices in the construction industry.

Figure 4.12

The results illustrated in Figure 4.12 indicate that 20% respondents Somewhat Disagree with the implementation of Six Sigma in the construction industry. However, 51% respondents Somewhat Agree and 29% managers Strongly Agree with the need of implementation. It eventually indicates the prevalence of resistance and lack of information about the effectiveness of Six Sigma among the 20% respondents of the total sample size.

Figure 4.13

The results depicted in Figure 4.13 indicate that 1% respondents Somewhat Agree with the capital investments related to the implementation of Six Sigma in the construction industry, whereas 10% respondents Strongly agree with this notion. Moreover, this notion is also supported by 89% respondents, which eventually indicates the managerial focus towards short-term cost efficiency that results in disregard from the implementation of long-term cost efficient practices.

Figure 4.14

The results illustrated in Figure 4.14 indicate that 20% managers are familiar with Six Sigma, whereas 80% managers have the theoretical knowledge of Six Sigma. It eventually indicates the prevalence of prior knowledge about Six Sigma among managers at a higher extent in the construction industry of Pakistan.

Figure 4.15

The results illustrated in Figure 4.15 indicate that 31% respondents have academic knowledge about Six Sigma with the agreeability level of 31%. Similarly, 69% respondents Strongly Agree with the academic knowledge of Six Sigma. It eventually indicates the overall higher extent of academic knowledge of Six Sigma among the managers in the construction industry in Pakistan.

Figure 4.16

The results illustrated in Figure 4.16 indicate that 44% respondents Mostly Disagree with the implementation of Six Sigma in the construction projects. Similarly, 56% respondents Strongly Disagree, which indicates that they have not practiced Six Sigma in the construction practices.

Figure 4.17

The results illustrated in Figure 4.17 indicate that 69% respondents do not have any technical certifications related to the implementation of Six Sigma in the organization. Similarly, 11% respondents Mostly Disagree with the prevalence of technical certifications. However, only 20% respondents indicated that they have technical certification in Six Sigma implementation.

Figure 4.18

The results illustrated in Figure 4.18 indicate that 10% respondents Somewhat Agree with the effectiveness of Six Sigma in reducing project delays and quality enhancement in the construction industry. Similarly, the extent of agreeability is found to be strengthened with 20% respondents indicating Mostly Agree, whereas 70% respondents indicating Strongly Agree towards this notion.

Figure 4.19

The results illustrated in Figure 4.19 indicate that 60% respondents indicate that the employees in their organizations do not understand Six Sigma practices. Similarly, the extent of agreeability is observed with 19% respondents Mostly Agreed and 21% respondents indicated Somewhat Agreed with this notion.

Figure 4.20

The results in Figure 4.20 indicate that 39% respondents Strongly Agree that the organizational awareness is required in order to implement Six Sigma practices. Similarly, 21% respondents Mostly Agree, 20% respondents Somewhat Agree and 20% respondents indicated Neutral response towards this notion. It eventually indicates that the effective implementation of Six Sigma will require organizational change in order to support the implementation and practice of Six Sigma.

Figure 4.21

The results from Figure 4.21 indicate that 70% managers Strongly Agree that the employees in organization do not have adequate skills, knowledge and abilities to implement Six Sigma in the work processes. Similarly, 9% respondents Mostly Agreed and 21% respondents Somewhat Agreed with this notion.

Figure 4.22

It is observed that 59% managers indicated that the Six Sigma practices and implementation require the prevalence of formal training and development of employees. Similarly, 21% managers Mostly Agreed with this notion and 20% managers Somewhat agreed. The results are illustrated in Figure 4.22.

Figure 4.23

The results illustrated in Figure 4.21 indicate that 70% managers indicated that employees are required to learn the effective deployment mechanism of Six Sigma in order to ensure its effective implementation in the work process. In this instance, 10% managers Strongly Agreed, whereas 20% respondents Somewhat Agreed with this notion.

Figure 4.24

The results illustrated in Figure 4.24 indicate that 65% managers indicate that training of Six Sigma practices can increases employees’ competency to implement Six Sigma in work processes. Moreover, 15% managers Mostly Agreed, whereas 20% managers Somewhat Agreed with this notion.

4.5 One-Way ANOVA

The One-Way ANOVA test helps in determining difference in the mean values of independent groups and is also known as the analysis of variance. The null hypothesis of One-Way ANOVA indicates that the mean values of the independent groups is same, which eventually indicates that the extent of inclination between independent groups is similar. In this instance, One-Way ANOVA test is conducted to determine the extent of current trends in Six Sigma is in accordance with the knowledge of Six Sigma among the managers in the construction industry. Therefore, following hypotheses are developed to incorporate One-Way ANOVA:

Ha1:The extent of Current Trends in Six Sigma is not similar with the extent of Knowledge of Six Sigma among the managers in the construction industry.

Ho1: The extent of Current Trends in Six Sigma is similar with the extent of Knowledge of Six Sigma among the managers in the construction industry.

In order to test these hypotheses, ANOVA test is conducted in the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and the result of ANOVA is presented in Table 4.5

Table 4.5

ANOVA
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 7.702 7 1.100 115.038 .000
Within Groups .880 92 .010
Total 8.582 99

The results indicate p-value<0.001, which rejects the null hypothesis and accepts the alternative hypothesis of the study. The alternative hypothesis of the study implies that the extent of Current Trends in Six Sigma is not similar with the extent of Knowledge of Six Sigma among the managers in the construction industry. In this manner, it is observed that the mean values significantly vary and the managers are not implementing the Six Sigma practices in the construction industry because the extent of Current Trends in Six Sigma is not similar with their knowledge.

4.6 Discussion

The overall results indicate that the managers in the construction industry of Pakistan are highly education and have significant years of experience in their field of study. The results from the descriptive statistics indicate that the overall responses are moderate and indicate high rate of agreeability. The results of reliability test also indicated that acceptance of instrument in order to address the variables. It eventually indicates that the instrument used in the current study is able to provide consistent results over a large population and hence, makes the results of the current study valid.

The current study was aimed to determine the extent of current trends in Six Sigma, prior knowledge among the managers about the significance of Six Sigma, awareness of its effectiveness and training need of employees for the effective implementation. In this instance, the data were analyzed and the mean scores of the responses were determined. Afterwards, the mean scores were transformed into the percentage distribution by using the descriptive statistics for each item and the results were illustrated using the graphical charts.

The results indicated that the leadership or top management in the construction industry in Pakistan does not participate in improving the business operations. In this instance, the leadership does not engage in defining, measuring and analyzing the business performance due to which they lack the prospect towards continuous improvement in the construction industry. However, the results also indicated that construction industries are highly inclined towards increasing the extent of quality in the construction projects. Similarly, the organization are inclined towards making their work processes efficient with the use of quality management practices.

The results indicated that construction organizations do not incorporate the prevalence of quality enhancement in the organizational vision. It eventually indicates that the quality enhancement mechanism is not embedded in the organizational structure, inclination, culture and policies because vision determines the inclination of the organization and delegates its elements throughout the organization. However, the results indicated that construction organizations are focused towards waste and project delays in order to ensure efficient utilization of resource and achieve cost-efficiency in the overall construction projects. It eventually indicates that the strategies to reduce waste and reduce project delays are implemented to some extent in the constructions organizations.

The results indicated that the construction organizations are not focused towards addressing the increasing national demand of infrastructure in the country. It depicts that the organizations are not focused towards the long-term business prospects and are not responsive towards increasing customer and national demand. Moreover, some managers in the construction organizations indicated that construction projects are completed in an optimum duration, whereas some extent of managers indicated that the construction projects are not completed within optimum duration. In this instance, it is implied that that the extent of efficiency significantly varies from organization to organization in the construction industry of Pakistan.

The prevalence of collaboration among project team members is highly observed, which eventually indicates that team members work in a favorable environment to delegate, share and enhance their skills in an effective manner. It also depicts the prevalence of conventional team management practices in the organization. However, it was observed that the construction organizations are not exceeding their level of performance by means of completing the construction projects before initial deadline. Moreover, inconsistent responses are observed in this notion, which indicates that the extent of process efficiency varies from organization to organization.

It is observed that subordinates are not involved in the problem-solving and decision making mechanism in the construction projects and its extent of prevalence is observed higher than the participation of subordinates in the organizational decisions and problem-solving. It also indicates the difference in the quality management systems and work standards in the construction companies in Pakistan. Moreover, the managers indicated that six Sigma can be effective in achieving cost and time-efficiency and can result in a higher extent of quality.

However, the managers also indicated a high level of agreeability towards satisfaction with the current traditional quality management practices. It eventually indicates that they are not inclined towards taking proactive means of enhancing the quality standard significantly more than the required extent of quality in the industry. It was also observed that managers indicated mixed prevalence of agreeability and disagreement in determining the need of implementing Six Sigma. It may prevail due to the fact that they are not ensure about the extent of quality that is required to be achieved by the organization.

The managers significantly believe that the implementation of Six Sigma will require large amount of capital investment. It eventually indicates that managers are focused towards implementing such quality management practices that can ensure short-term profitability and hence, they are disregarding the quality management practices that can provide long-term profitability. It is also observed that a significant extent of managers possesses the theoretical knowledge of Six Sigma practices and they have studied the elements of Six Sigma in their academic career.

However, the results also indicate that despite the theoretical and academic knowledge of Six Sigma, the managers have not practiced the elements of Six Sigma in the construction projects. It eventually indicates the gap between knowledge and practice of Six Sigma in the construction industry in Pakistan. Moreover, the managers also lack adequate professional or technical certifications in the Six Sigma practices, which is also considered as a significant reason that can justify the lack of implementation of Six Sigma in the construction industry. However, the managers indicate that Six Sigma can reduce project delays and enhance quality, which is found to be the antecedent of their academic and theoretical knowledge about the elements and effectiveness of Six Sigma.

It is also observed that the managers indicate the dearth of knowledge about Six Sigma in the organization and indicated that the effective implementation of Six Sigma will require the organizational change in order to enlighten the management and employees with the effectiveness of Six Sigma. The managers also indicated that the employees in the organization do not possess skills, knowledge and abilities to implement Six Sigma practices. It was observed that the training need for Six Sigma practices among the employees is significantly high in order to implement Six Sigma in the organization. The managers also indicated that formal training will be highly effective in increasing the competency of employees, which will result in the effective implementation of Six Sigma in the organization.

The results of One-Way ANOVA indicated that the current extent of Six Sigma is not in accordance with the prior knowledge of managers about the effectiveness of Six Sigma. It eventually indicates that Six Sigma mechanism is not practiced in the organization regardless of the academic and theoretical knowledge managers possess about the effectiveness of Six Sigma. In this instance, extensive gap in the knowledge and current practice of Six Sigma is observed, which is required to be mitigated in order to enhance quality and efficiency in the construction industry in Pakistan.

CHAPTER 5: Conclusion

5.1 Key Findings

The key findings of the current study are listed below:

  • The management in the construction firms is not committed towards participating in defining, measuring analyzing the business performance in order to improve work processes.
  • The construction organizations are focused towards increasing the quality of the construction projects in Pakistan.
  • The construction organizations tend to enhance work efficiency by means of quality management practices in Pakistan.
  • The prevalence of quality enhancement is not addressed in the vision of construction organizations.
  • The construction organizations are highly inclined towards reducing waste and eliminating unnecessary project delays from the construction projects.
  • The construction organizations are irresponsive towards the increasing construction demand in the country.
  • Some construction organizations are able to accomplish construction projects in an optimum duration whereas some organizations face inadequate delays in project completion.
  • The project team members, including members and leaders, collaborate with each other in an effective manner.
  • The construction organizations are not able to complete the construction projects before the completion of deadline, which eventually indicates lack of high performance.
  • The subordinates do not participate in the problem-solving mechanism and do not engage in decision making process.
  • The managers in the construction industry strongly believe that Sig Sigma can address the issues related to reduced cost-efficiency and time-efficiency in an effective manner.
  • The managers are highly satisfied with the quality management practices that are currently followed by the organizations.
  • Some extent of agreeability in the need of implementing Six Sigma in the construction industry was observed.
  • The managers are concerned about the cost associated with the implementation of Six Sigma.
  • The managers are highly equipped with the theoretical and academic knowledge about the significance of Six Sigma.
  • The manager lack the technical knowledge about the implementation of Six Sigma in the construction industry.
  • The managers indicated that employees lack adequate knowledge to contribute in the implementation of Six sigma.
  • The managers indicated that organizational change will be required to implement Six Sigma throughout the work processes.
  • The need of training and development in the effective deployment of Six Sigma is considerably high in the construction industry.

5.2 Conclusion

The overall results of the study indicate that the construction organizations are not inclined towards quality enhancement and process improvement at the strategic level, due to which quality management practices are not embedded in the culture and policies of the organizations. The management is resistant towards implementing conventional quality management practices because the management believes that the current practices are providing satisfactory results. However the occurrence of inadequate project delays is observed throughout the organizations included in the survey. In this instance, it is observed that the organizations are not inclined towards acquiring increasing business opportunities in the construction industry due to increased demand of infrastructure in the country and hence, organizations are not incorporating proactive means of enhancing quality and process efficiency in the construction projects.

The managers understand the aspects of six Sigma, however, they lack technical knowledge about the implementation of Six Sigma in the organization. The managers have indicated that the employees lack the adequate skills to contribute in the implementation of Six Sigma, due to which it is highly required that employees are trained at the organizational level. The managers are found to be concerned about the cost related to the effectiveness of Six Sigma and hence, they lack the long-term prospects of cost-efficiency acquired by the effective implementation of Six Sigma practices.

5.3 Limitations

The current study is limited to the construction industry and hence, it does not account for the Six Sigma practices in any other industry or sector in Pakistan. The data was acquired by the structured close-ended questions and hence, did not provide insights about the inclinations of managers towards their responses due to lack of open-ended questions. The current study was focused on the inclinations of managers in the construction industry and did not address the inclinations of top management in the construction industry. Considering the fact that the implementation of Six Sigma is a strategic process, the insights acquired from top management in the construction industry could have enlightened the perspective of top management towards Six Sigma practices.

It is observed that the sample size is diversified on the basis of age and qualification of managers, which eventually indicates that some managers may understand the effectiveness of Six Sigma more than the managers who possess graduate degrees. Similarly, high variance in age group can also indicate that the managers from senior age brackets can be resistant towards the adoption of conventional quality management system in the organization. The current paper incorporated cross-sectional study, in which the inclination of sample size was recorded in a one-time process. Moreover, training need is required to be identified by interacting directly with the employees rather than acquiring inclinations of the managers / supervisors about the academic and theoretic knowledge of the employees.

5.4 Recommendations

The infrastructure development in Pakistan is objectified at a national level and government’s inclination towards increasing infrastructure development is also observed. Moreover, construction organizations are not found to be inclined towards being responsive towards the increasing national demand and hence, they are focused on short-term growth prospects and are incorporating short-term cost-efficient practices. In this instance, it is highly required that the government delegates should develop quality enhancement policies and standard in order to direct the inclination of construction industry towards the implementation of effective quality management practices.

The government is found to be focused towards the human development initiatives, in which technical training in the field of construction are also provided to the citizens. In this instance, it is recommended that the context of training should be extended in such manner that it addresses the effective implementation of Six Sigma in practice. The development of national policy towards quality enhancement and availability of human development initiatives focused on Six Sigma will direct the construction organizations to implement Six Sigma practices in the work processes.

The managers are required to incorporate organizational change by means of transformational leadership practices. It will help the managers to enlighten the employees with the effectiveness of Six Sigma practices in the organization and will help them understand its contribution in the effectiveness achievement of organizational and national objectives. The employees may be resistant towards the implementation of new quality management system due to which transformational leadership will ensure the prevalence of employee motivation and positive attitude towards the implementation of Six Sigma practices.

It is observed that the construction projects vary on the basis of their objectives and structure due to which a specific design of Six Sigma mechanism cannot ensure efficient results. In this manner, it is suggested that the company managers, engineers, consultant engineers and architects should engage in the development of a structured six Sigma design that can address the project requirements in an effective manner. The continuous monitoring and improvement in the design will be required due to which the implementation of effective project evaluation mechanism is required to determine the performance of a specific project with respect to the developed Six Sigma design.

The construction organizations are found to be highly focused towards short-term prospects of cost-efficiency. In this instance, effective analysis of current quality management practices and effectiveness of proposed Six Sigma practices is required to be measured in order to determine the financial feasibility of Six Sigma practices in the construction industry. It will enlighten the stakeholders of the construction organizations about the effectiveness of Six Sigma and the long-term prospects of cost-efficiency and profitability will be determined. The organizations need to be responsive towards the increasing national demand of construction and the positive financial prospects with respect to the implementation of Six Sigma will increase the inclination of construction organizations towards long-term prospects of business.

The construction industry is required to provide adequate training and development opportunities to the employees in order to develop adequate skills, knowledge and abilities with respect to the implementation of Six Sigma. The organizations tend to perceive training as a cost of human development practice, however, it should be considered as a long-term investment because it will transform the human resource of the organization into the human capital. The competitive employees are found to be highly efficient and are able to provide the organization with the competitive edge due to innovative solutions and efficient work flow. In this manner, the prevalence of effective training and development programs related to the practical implementation of six Sigma can enhance the quality and incorporate process improvement in the construction industry of Pakistan.

The results of the current study provide extensive insights about the current extents of Six Sigma, knowledge about the implementation of Six Sigma and gap in the implementation and knowledge of Six Sigma. However, the current study does not provide a systematic design of Six Sigma that can be implemented in the construction industry. Therefore, future studies should focus on the formulation of Six Sigma design so that it can be implemented in the construction industry. Moreover, the empirical evidence about the long-term profitability of Six Sigma implementation in the construction industry is required to be determined in order to persuade the construction industries towards developing inclination towards its implementation. It is also essential that the empirical relation and causal relation between the given variables should be determined in order to broaden the perspective of the objectives of current research.

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