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Six sigma and introductory statistics education

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A conflict exists between the way statistics is practiced in contemporary business environments and the way statistics is taught in schools of management. While businesses are embracing programs, such as six sigma and TQM, that bring statistical methods to the forefront of management decision making, students do not graduate with the skills to apply these methods effectively. Based on the concept of process thinking, it is argued that evolutionary rather than revolutionary changes should be made in the way statistics is taught. The difference between the process thinking approach and the classic statistical approach is illustrated using several business-related examples.

Keywords: Quality; Statistics; Total quality management

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00400910210419982

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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