Global Perspectives on Operational Excellence: Unveiling Critical Failure Factors and Sustainable Pathways

Jiju Antony*, Michael Sony, Raja Jayaraman, Vikas Swarnakar, Guilherme da Luz Tortorella, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes, Rajeev Rathi, Leopoldo Gutierrez, Olivia McDermott, Bart Lameijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this global study is to investigate the critical failure factors (CFFs) in the deployment of Operational Excellence (OPEX) programs as well as the key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used to measure OPEX failures. The study also empirically analyses various OPEX methodologies adopted by various organizations at a global level. Design/methodology/approach (limit 100 words) This global study utilized an online survey to collect data. The questionnaire was sent to 800 senior managers resulting ultimately in 249 useful responses. Findings (limit 100 words) The study results suggest that Six Sigma is the most widely utilized across the OPEX methodologies, followed by Lean Six Sigma and Lean. Agile manufacturing is the least utilized OPEX methodology. The top four critical failure factors (CFFs) were poor project selection and prioritization, poor leadership, lack of proper communication and resistance to change issues. Research limitations/implications (limit 100 words) This study extends the current body of knowledge on OPEX by first delineating the CFFs for OPEX and identifying the differing effects of these CFFs across various organizational settings. Senior managers and OPEX professionals can use the findings to take remedial actions and to improve the sustainability of OPEX initiatives in their respective organizations. Originality/value (limit 100 words) This study uniquely identifies critical factors leading to OPEX initiative failures, providing practical insights for industry professionals and academia, fostering a deeper understanding of potential pitfalls. The research highlights a distinctive focus on social and environmental performance metrics, urging a paradigm shift for sustained OPEX success, differentiating itself in addressing broader sustainability concerns. By recognizing the interconnectedness of 12 critical failure factors, the study offers a pioneering foundation for future research and the development of a comprehensive management theory on OPEX failures.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Quality & Reliability Management
Early online date14 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2024

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