Date Approved

9-12-2013

Date Posted

4-4-2014

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Technology

Committee Member

Daniel Fields, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

John Dugger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Konnie Kustron, J.D.

Committee Member

Nesa Wu, Ph.D.

Abstract

XYZ is a manufacturing organization located in Michigan, in the Eastern North Central U.S., and it has a diverse workforce consisting of immigrants from Asia, Europe, and South America. The majority of the workers are immigrants from the Indian Sub-Continent. XYZ has been in the process of implementing 5Ss; however, it has been unable to sustain 5S standards. This study was conducted to identify the role of the Indian Sub-Continent workers’ culture and religion on 5S implementation and to suggest how this company can work with this group in successfully implementing the 5Ss.

The researcher is employed in this organization and is well acquainted with the employees. The research design chosen for this research is ethnography. The researcher spent six months interviewing and observing 33 employees of the XYZ organization, acting as researcher and participant observer, while immersing himself in their lives. This helped him observe their behavioral patterns, understand their worldview, and gain insight into their personal opinions. The theme that emerged from this research is that Desi (people from the Indian Sub-Continent) trust each other and can work effectively in teams. The Desi workers, as a group, have similar values such as respecting elders and helping others; however, they also demonstrated some behavioral differences. The Indian Sub-Continent workers are submissive, strictly following the orders of their supervisor, and many times this results in their failure to complete the task according to 5S standards. Specifically, the workers always have one task waiting ahead of them, and the supervisor wants them to quickly complete one task and go on to the next one.

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