International Business Excellence Awards Comparison


The given report will critically evaluate a number of business excellence models and frameworks. Specifically, three international business excellence frameworks will be compared and analyzed, which are MBNQA-Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards, Deming Prize, and EFQM European Business Excellence Award. These excellence frameworks are essential components of total quality management, which aims to set a certain set of requirements in order to achieve business excellence. The report will analyze the excellence awards starting from their historic background and criteria to eligibility requirements and critical analysis.

History and Emergence

Deming Award is a total quality management (TQM) prize located in Japan and it is administered by the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE). The main goal is to acknowledge and reward major implementers and contributors if the TQM. The award was established in 1951 in order to honor Edward Deming (“Deming prize,” 2020). Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a US-based excellence award that was first established in 1987. The main reason for the given award is to reward and recognize American companies and organizations for their excellent performance. It is administered by National Institute of Standards and Technology (“Our organization,” 2020). EFQM Excellence Award was established in 1991 in Belgium in order to recognize and reward successful industry leaders with continuous performance improvements. It is administered and sponsored by the European Foundation of Quality Management (“Meet the team,” 2020). Therefore, all these institutions emerged to promote quality management performance.

Model Criteria and Requirements

The criteria for award can be categorized into two main types, where one is aimed to award significant individual contributors, and another is designed to recognize companies with outstanding results in TQM. The Deming Award requirements include leadership from senior executives, conceptual perspective and strategy, TQM control system, quality assurance system, and control system for individual elements of company management. In addition, it involves human factor development, computerization, TQM philosophy and value system, scientific methods, organizational advantages, and contribution to the achievement of the company’s goals. Features of TQM are outstanding achievements in the field of quality methods, philosophy, and technology (“Deming prize,” 2020). Therefore, the Deming Award is mostly focused on commercial companies and promotes proper management.

The model criteria of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the United States were established after a careful study of the Japanese experience and the requirements of the Deming Prize, the Baldridge Prize is seen as a way to achieve excellence in managing not only companies. It is also a management model for public, educational, religious, and other organizations in the United States. Baldrige was one of the activists in the country for the mass introduction of total quality systems.

The Baldridge Award criteria are based on a foundation of core values ​​and concepts, such as farsighted leadership, customer-led excellence, organizational and individual learning, employee and partner recognition, dynamics, which is an ability for rapid change and flexibility, and a future-oriented approach. In addition, it includes news-driven management, fact-management, social responsibility, and results-oriented and value-creating. Systematic, core values and concepts are contained in the seven Baldridge categories, which are leadership, strategic planning, focusing on the customer and the market, knowledge measurement, analysis and management, orientation to human resources, process management, results (“Our organization,” 2020). Thus, the given award is more focused on organizations and institutions, which might include non-commercial ones, and considers the public.

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Award of Excellence in Europe includes the EFQM Excellence Model, which was introduced in 1991 and updated in 2003 as a structure for organizational self-assessment and the basis for awarding the prize. Its model criteria are intended to support the practice of applying the principles of TQM. In 2006 the name of the award was changed from the European Quality Award (EQA) to the EFQM Excellence Award (EEA). The EEA criteria were based on eight concepts that express the principles and ideals of excellence, such as results-oriented approach, customers are the center of attention, leadership and persistence of goals, and process and fact management.

In addition, it involves developing people and achieving their engagement, continuous learning, and introduction of innovations alongside improvements, partnership development, and social responsibility of the company (“Meet the team,” 2020). However, the EFQM Excellence Model is a framework of nine criteria that builds on the eight concepts mentioned above. There are two main groups of criteria, such as assets and results. The first part includes partnership and resources, policy and strategy, leadership, processes, and people. The second part consists of customers, people, society, and key results. Each of these nine criteria addresses a key aspect of the company’s performance. At the center of the model is a logic scheme known as RADAR, which is comprised of four elements, such as results, approach, deployment and assessment, and review (“Meet the team,” 2020). Therefore, it is important to note that EFQM Excellence Award underwent major changes, but it encompasses a wider range of interests compared to the narrower Deming Awards and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. If an interested company wants to participate in these awards the above-mentioned requirements must be met, and the lack of these will make them ineligible to take part.


In modern market conditions, the question of the quality of products and services offered to consumers is very acute. Consequently, in recent years, attention to the quality problem as a whole has grown significantly. Although the quality of services and goods has always attracted public attention, it was only in the middle of the 20th century that quality management took a leading position among the market problems considered. Currently, it is the dominant object of scientific research, since quality, along with the price of a product, is recognized as a decisive factor that affects the consumer’s choice of a product or service (Swait, Argo, & Li, 2018). Modern methods of quality management are based on the methodology of the TQM concept – the principle of universal quality management. The TQM concept is a strategic management approach that aims to produce the best quality goods or services among similar products on the market and this product will meet all the needs of consumers.

Thus, TQM is not just a management approach, but a special business philosophy that aims at all employees to improve the quality of their products, as well as continuous improvement in the quality of their work and customer focus (Deshpande, 2019). Companies and organizations using the TQM concept are entering the leading positions in the market. Some researchers question this concept, arguing that the TQM principle is not new, but is only the result of the successful implementation of existing concepts in management (Patyal & Maddulety, 2015). The term quality is not of a narrow-profile nature and it is very diverse and finds its application, perhaps much more often than any other term used in economic science. Often people take the words reliability, strength, durability as synonyms for the term quality, although they are mandatory components. The last standardized definition of quality is that it is the ability of a combination of its own characteristics of a product, system, or process to satisfy the requirements of consumers and other interested parties.

The definition of the concept of quality involves a problem, which is that quality has two aspects such as objective and subjective. The objective aspect implies those qualitative characteristics of the product that it should possess in any case. The subjective aspect is the characteristics of the goods that should be related to the requirements of customers (Kopalle, Fisher, Sud, & Antia, 2017). With the objective aspect, everything is somewhat simpler, since the objective characteristics of the product must maintain stability and the ability to measure them, that is, objective quality is possible and must be standardized. A little more complicated is the assessment of subjective product quality since it is much more difficult to standardize and measure constantly changing customer requirements. Although the success of the organization depends on the subjective aspect. Not limited to just one definition of such a multifaceted concept as quality, it is important to consider some other definitions and theories given by researchers who are leading experts in this field (Tomic et al., 2017). It is important to put forward and argue the main provisions of quality, which must be associated with the satisfaction of consumer needs.

In the Deming Award, quality determinants are that quality should be determined based on the needs of the consumer, and it is important not only to meet them but also to be able to predict them. In addition, the quality is multidimensional, it is virtually impossible to define it and based on anyone property or preference of only one consumer. If the above-indicated models compared with EFQM, which in its approach made an attempt to combine the two aspects of quality. That is, quality consists of those properties of the product that meet the requirements of consumers, and therefore, they ensure satisfaction with this product, and the quality is free from defects (Fraser & Wu, 2016). It is important to consider the concept of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award because this model of the concept of integrated quality control has several aspects. Quality is also dynamic because both customer requirements and expectations are changing.

It is extremely important to draw similarities between the models and try to summarize all the studied and listed quality and management characteristics, as well as highlight those that are of the most significant nature for understanding modern views on quality management. Quality management is determined based on the desires and requirements of consumers. This aspect somewhat complicates the measurement and standardization of quality, as it is subjective, but at the same time, it is the basis of the concept of integrated quality management and is also the core of the new quality paradigm. In addition, it must be emphasized that quality management is multidimensional and diverse. From this aspect, it follows that there is no absolute quality, the same product has several degrees of quality. Quality is also a comprehensive concept and this aspect shows how important quality management is at all stages of the product life cycle and how much attention is required of all employees to the quality of products. Finally, the quality is dynamic and this property is decisive, it lies in the fact that quality is almost impossible to standardize, impose some kind of framework, and that it is different for each consumer, for each product, and for all time.

Another similarity factors that can be observed through the integrated nature of quality management, which consists in the continuous concentration of efforts of all employees of the organization to improve quality, is the determining, basic for understanding the very essence of the concept of TQM (Mahmoud, Alatrash, Fuxman, Meero, & Yafi, 2019). The evolution of views on the quality problem proceeds from understanding quality as a narrow set of technical characteristics to modern awareness of quality as a whole complex theory that reflects the needs and requirements of the consumer and is associated with the development of the concept of TQM integrated quality management in a separate area of ​​scientific research. As a result of the many studies that were devoted to the issues of the TQM concept, it became possible to identify some approaches to the interpretation of such a concept as general quality management.

The main difference of the Deming Award is manifested in the fact that it is focused on the soft aspects of quality management, for example, on a culture of excellence, teamwork, staff interest in the quality of products. A typical definition of TQM from this point of view is that an integrated management concept for continuous improvement of the quality of products and services through the participation of all levels and functions (Burange & Kelkar, 2019). The primary difference of EFQM Excellence Award is the fact that attention must be paid mostly to strict aspects in the management of quality, such as control, standardization, and the statistical methods use to verify the quality feature of products or services. The TQM is a collection of procedures and techniques used to decrease differences both within the process of providing a service and the production process in order to improve reliability, efficiency, and quality.

In addition, EFQM Excellence Award combines both soft and hard aspects. The definition typical of this group is that TQM is the connecting link between two historically separated approaches in management such as scientific management and human relations management. Despite the fact that there is no single, generally accepted definition of the TQM concept, it can be concluded that at the present stage, this concept has firmly entered into life and took shape as an independent discipline. It has an already established set of fundamental principles, for example, making decisions based on facts, the responsibility of top management, the indispensable orientation to improving the quality of products and services, the interest of all employees in their work, as well as concentration on the opinions of consumers.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is based on TQM principles. Its difference is the fact that companies that implemented a successful quality management system received the title of an excellent business model, but for this, they had to show their experience in the field of quality through the media and various open lectures, which, according to the founders of the award, would allow to extend the positive experience to a larger number organizations and strengthen the US economy. Often, management’s expectations do not coincide with the organization’s capabilities, for example, due to the lack of the required amount of resources. The main reasons why the quality management system fails are the lack of clarity for business purposes, the lack of timelines for the implementation of the program, and the lack of sufficient understanding of customers and competitors.

The listed influence factors made a serious contribution to the theory of quality management, however, the problem of developing and implementing Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award essentials that meets the goals and objectives of a particular organization is still relevant. Despite the importance of the components of these concepts, they do not exhaust many problems, the importance of which has increased recently in connection with the growing demands on the level of quality and the accelerating pace of scientific and technological progress (Acikgoz & Mert, 2015).

Having considered a number of popular techniques, these models were created and exited, as a rule, based on the problems of specific organizations, therefore, the organization’s management, on the basis of which they should be used, must compare them with the organization’s tasks and adapt them to the organization’s goals. In addition, there is a need to combine the implementation processes and subsequent quality management with the strategic and financial plans of the organization, in order to achieve the best result from the implementation of a quality management system. Thus, the adaptation of a particular method to the strengths and weaknesses of the organization plays a key role in the selection and implementation of a quality management methodology (Gad, Adamtey, & Gransberg, 2015). Another important success factor is the simultaneous motivation of management and employees of the organization. All this allows people to overcome the main problems in the process of implementing a quality management system and to develop the best quality management system based on existing methods.


In conclusion, it can be stated that the TQM concepts, such as the Deming Award, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and EFQM Excellence Award combine the most important aspects such as the main management methods, the main approaches to the organization of quality improvement, as well as the necessary technical tools used in the general discipline, focused on the continuous and continuous improvement of the quality of work and products manufactured organization. However, it should be noted that at present, the development of the TQM concept is characterized by a decline in interest in the issue of quality. This is because the concept in the course of its constant development has reached a new level when the enthusiasm and interest in the highest quality began to fade. However, from a positive point of view, the fact is that the TQM concept has strengthened a number of fundamental principles and aspects that will not be left without attention, and interest in them will only increase. Thus, new directions for the development of scientific thought will appear, which will help to effectively use the idea of ​​TQM. In the international arena, where fierce competition prevails, quality is a critical aspect that determines the success of an organization or even a country. It is necessary to rethink the concept of quality, reorientation of emphasis to a broader approach to this concept.


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