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Knowledge Management and Lean Six Sigma

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management
*Indexed in the Emerging Sources Citation Index and Scopus*

Guest Editor: Dr. Li Pin Tan, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia.

Submission deadline: September 30, 2018

This special issue will address the potential of two established disciplines, knowledge management and lean six sigma in organizations. Nowadays, manufacturing and business environments are continually being shaped by the global competitive landscape that has triggered organizations to aggressively search for robust strategies in order to strive for excellence and continuous improvement. Knowledge management, as an emerging concept, is recognized as an important approach which has a great impact on organizational performance by effectively managing the intellectual assets within an organization (Baral et al., 2014). On the other hand, Lean Six Sigma is also well-known as an effective business strategy and problem-solving methodology for all industrial sectors to enable organizations to meet and exceed customer expectation and increase process performance in a changing and competitive global environment (Andersson et al., 2014; Antony et al., 2017). Both knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma are having a key influence on the corporate world, which is focused on change initiatives and improvement philosophies. Therefore, it is believed that there is a very powerful interaction and synergy between these two disciplines.

Both of them can complement each other. Knowledge management can be applied as a model to transfer the best practices of Lean Six Sigma. There is considerable scope to generate and disseminate knowledge when executing Lean Six Sigma breakthroughs (Chen and Holsapple, 2009; Baral et al., 2014) and this knowledge can be considered as a key resource for organizations to improve their organizational performance. Conversely, the process performance of knowledge management can be improved and continuous improvement of knowledge management systems achieved using Lean Six Sigma (Lin et al., 2013). By integrating these two initiatives of knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma, organizations will truly be able to gain competitive advantages. However, there is still a lack of efforts in this specific domain. Hence, proper focus should be given on leveraging the integration between knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma to provide a better competitive strategy for organizations.

In this respect, the objectives of this special issue are to explore the synergy between knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma, and investigate the challenges, impacts and contributions of this synergy in organizations.

Specific topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Synergy between knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma
  • Framework or model of the synergy between knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma
  • Best practice using both knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma
  • Case studies or empirical research on applying both knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma in organizations
  • Challenges of the synergy between knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma
  • Impacts of the synergy between knowledge management and Lean Six Sigma on organizational performance
  • Knowledge management in lean manufacturing
  • Lean knowledge management
  • Knowledge management in lean supply chain

Submission guidelines

In preparing manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the Author Guidelines available on the journal homepage at  To submit your paper online you must first create an author account at then follow the on-screen guidance which takes you through the submission process. If you have any queries about the submission process, please contact the journal’s Publisher, Claire Jackson, at


Andersson, R., Hilletofth, P., Manfredsson, P. and Hilmola, O.P. (2014). Lean Six Sigma Strategy in Telecom Manufacturing. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 114(6), pp.904-921.

Antony, J., Snee, R. and Hoerl, R. (2017). Lean Six Sigma: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 34(7), pp.1073-1093.

Baral L.M., Kifor C.V. and Bondrea I. (2014). Assessing the Impact of DMAIC-Knowledge Management Methodology on Six Sigma Projects: An Evaluation through Participant’s Perception. In: Buchmann R., Kifor C.V. and Yu J. (eds). Knowledge Science, Engineering and Management. KSEM 2014. Vol. 8793, pp. 349-356, Springer, Cham.

Chen, D.C. and Holsapple, C.W. (2009). Knowledge Shared is Power: Utilizing Knowledge Management Activities to Replicate Lean Sigma Best Practices. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal, 1(2), pp.90-102.

Lin, C., Chen, F.F., Chen, Y.M. and Kuriger, G. (2013). Continuous Improvement of Knowledge Management Systems Using Six Sigma Methodology. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, 29(3), pp.95-103.