Research Article

Statistical Thinking in quality improvement: use, difficulties and benefits of its implantation in industries of the Brazilian State of São Paulo

Jose Carlos de Toledo; Fabiane Letícia Lizarelli; Adriana Barbosa dos Santos; Artur Ishizaka

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Abstract: Paper aims: Identify the use of statistical thinking and techniques and their main difficulties and benefits in the Brazilian State of São Paulo industries.

Originality: There are few empirical studies on the application of the statistical thinking and techniques which study their difficulties of implementation and their benefits in manufacturing companies.

Research method: A web survey of a sample of 243 manufacturing companies.

Main findings: The companies, in general, use some statistical principles and basic techniques for process control and improvement, however, companies that use principles and techniques more consistently have greater operational and team benefits. The main difficulties are associated to lack of culture and knowledge.

Implications for theory and practice: The statistical application enables effective processes improvements and it is associated with motivation for further improvements, consolidation of improvement programs and culture of quality. This finding suggests managerial implications such as to plan actions to deploy and disseminate the culture of statistical thinking in an evolutionary way, training and support for use and to overcome barriers.


Statistical techniques, Statistical approach, Improvement programs, Perceived benefits


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