Date Approved

5-10-2015

Date Posted

1-13-2016

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Technology

Committee Member

John Dugger, Ph.D., Dissertation Chair

Committee Member

Alphonso Bellamy, Ph.D., Research Methods Representative

Committee Member

Denise Pilato, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael McVey, Ed.D.

Abstract

This study identified a number of key factors influencing the implementation of each of the phases of the lean 5S tool in suppliers to the U.S. automotive industry and to determine if these factors vary according to selected demographic variables. This study was conceived to develop a better understanding as to why some organizations fail to implement all five of the 5S phases and become stagnant. The research questions that guided the study included:

RQ1: What factors were perceived by the respondents to have influenced the implementation of the lean 5S phases and elements in suppliers of manufacturing products to the U.S. automotive industry?

RQ2: What is the relationship of the selected demographic variables on the perceived factors and the lean 5S phases in suppliers of manufactured products to the U.S. automotive industry?

Active members of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) who have leadership functions within U.S. based automotive industry suppliers constituted the population for this study. An electronic survey questionnaire was developed and administered to active members who have leadership responsibilities within U.S. manufacturing suppliers and belonged to selected ASQ sections from the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

The findings for research question 1 revealed that there is a strong relationship between all factors, elements and phases, and therefore all nine factors were perceived by the respondents to have an impact on the implementation of the lean 5S phases. The findings for research question 2 revealed that seven of the ten selected demographic variables affected each factor and each lean 5S phase. The results of the study provide a series of steps that ii when followed can increase the likelihood of 5S implementation success within suppliers to the U.S. automotive industry.

Suggestions for future research include:

Develop a quasi-experimental study that can address cause and effect relationships for selected factors. A future study could be directed toward a comparison of an organization that has successfully implemented all of the 5S phases to one that has failed to determine what causes resulted in success or failure.

A recommendation for future research is to develop a qualitative study to better understand the conditions that influence significant differences in respondents from different states that operate within the same automotive business.

A recommendation for future research is to study suppliers of manufactured products to non-automotive organizations to determine if any similarities exist.

Additionally, a recommendation for future research is to study the lean 5S implementation by suppliers to the service industries such as academia, medical services and entertainment.

Another recommendation for future research is to study group dynamics such as the behavioral differentiation and the integration process of achieving unity of groups toward a common goal.

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