Process improvement programs such as Six Sigma, Lean, and Lean Sigma are very important and deserve serious academic research attention. However, definition problems make it difficult to study any specific type of process improvement program. Therefore, this study defines two organizational level program management factors, Strategic Project Selection (SPS) and Project Management Infrastructure (PMI), that are independent of any specific process improvement program. Drawing upon current literature, this study develops and tests theoretical models that relate SPS and PMI to operational performance improvement and to each other. Using empirical data collected from 53 supplier plants of one large high-tech firm, this study finds that at the plant level, SPS mediates the relationship between PMI and operational performance improvement. This insight contributes to both theory development and practice, suggesting that a viable strategy for a process improvement program's success is to focus on PMI in order to enhance SPS and ultimately improve performance.
- Empirical research
- Project management infrastructure
- Quality management
- Strategic project selection