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Malcolm Baldrige Award:  How it Works
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Malcolm Baldrige Award: How it Works


An overview of the Malcolm Baldrige Award and the criteria used for assessment of businesses and organizations applying for it.

An overview of the Malcolm Baldrige Award and the criteria used for assessment of businesses and organizations applying for it.

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  • Once an organization determines they want to use the Baldrige model to analyze their performance, there are two options available to them.
  • The first is to apply for the Malcolm Baldrige award. This award, presented annually by the president of the United States, recognizes outstanding organizational management in the business, healthcare, education and nonprofit sectors. At the beginning of this lesson, you watched a short video on one of the recent winners. Not every category has a winner in any given year, and to date, only 84 companies have been awarded this prize.
  • One of the unique characteristics of the Baldrige award program, however, is that the goal is not necessarily to win the award. Prestigious as winning might be, most companies apply for the sake of the valuable feedback they will receive. If selected to participate, the organization will benefit from many hours of valuable consultation with management experts examining every aspect of their operations and giving suggestions for improvement.
  • The second option, the one chosen by the vast majority of Baldrige users, is to do a self-assessment. This can either be done internally or by hiring the services of one of the many consulting companies specializing in this method.
  • Whether participating in the award program or doing a self-assessment, the primary tool used to evaluate performance is the Baldrige Criteria, a set of questions to be answered regarding seven areas of operations within the organization. These are available at no charge through the National Institute for Standards and Technology, the government agency overseeing the program, and may be downloaded at
  • The criteria themselves, are built on 11 Core values, underlying principles that form the foundation for the Baldrige model. Some, such as ‘visionary leadership’ and ‘valuing workforce’ are directly tied to the Criteria. Others, like ‘systems perspective’ or ‘societal responsibility’ permeate and drive the entire process.
  • When beginning an assesssment, either through the award program or on their own, a company first completes an organizational profile, detailing the environment, relationships, and key influences and challenges that affect how their organization functions.
  • They then begin to use the critera starting with the Leadership Triad, the first three areas of assessment, which emphasize the importance of a leadership focus on strategic planning and customer relationships…
  • Evaluation of Leadership asks the question, “How do the actions of the organization’s senior leadership guide and sustain the organization?” Items examined include the company’s governance system, how it fulfills its legal, ethical, and societal responsibilities, and how it supports key communities within the organization…
  • When looking at Strategic Planning, the question is, How well does this company plan for its future? Is it developing objectives and action plans and deploying them? How do its leaders measure progress?
  • Customer Focus deals with how the company engages its clients for long term marketplace success. Without customers, no business will survive long. This criteria examines how product needs are determined and fulfilled, as well as how customers are acquired, satisfied and retained.
  • The fourth criteria, Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management is essential to the effective management of an organization.
  • While the other six criteria deal with various parts of the systems operations, this criteria is pictured in the Baldrige Model as being the foundation for that sytem and interacting with all of the various parts of it.
  • Its effectiveness is assessed by asking questions about how the company gathers and analyzes the data and information it requires to operate, how it organizes, stores and protects its knowledge assets and how it manages its information technology.
  • The last three criteria, are referred to as the Results Triad, focus on the systems operations that yield the overall performance results for the company. Areas examined include the organization’s Workforce Focus and its Process Management.
  • Does this business have the right people with the right skills in place at the right time? The examiners will look at how the organization engages its workforce to achieve institutional and personal success. They will be looking for examples of how a company rewards and recognizes the work its employees perform, and whether there is effective and open communication. How does the company develop or acquire new leadership and are there opportunities for career advancement available to all employees?
  • They will also ask,How does the organization work? What are its key systems and processes? This assessment looks at both of these areas and asks whether the they are designed and managed in a way that delivers value and contributes to the organization’s ultimate success. Questions include: How are internal work systems and external resources coordinated? How are requirements determined and how is input from customers, suppliers and other partners incorporated? How does the company prepare for emergencies and disasters that might interrupt the workflow?
  • Finally, the most important area of assessment is Results. Without results, it really does not matter how well the organization is managed. For that matter, if the organization is well managed, we should expect to see results.
  • The Results criteria examines the organization’s performance & improvement in the key areas of Product Performance, Customer Satisfaction, Financial Success, and the Effectiveness of its Workforce, Processes and Leadership. The importance of this final criteria is reflected in the fact that it accounts for nearly half of the evaluation.
  • In review,There are two ways an organization can use the Baldrige Assessment, either by applying for the Award or through a self-assessment done by their own personnel or private contractors. The most valuable result of participating in the Award program is not the award itself, but the feedback a company receives regarding their performance.
  • The Baldrige assessment is built on 11 Core Values and evaluates 7 Key areas of organizational management using the Baldrige Criteria. These Criteria include: LeadershipStrategic PlanningCustomer FocusMeasurement, Analysis & Knowledge ManagementWorkforce Focus Process ManagementResults
  • The most important of the seven criteria is Results


  • 1.
  • 2. Motorola
    Globe Metallurgical
    Federal Express
    Wallace Co.
    Cadillac Motors
    Marlow Industries
    Granite Rock
    Texas Instruments
    AT & T
    Ritz-Carlton Hotels
    Ames Rubber
    Eastman Chemical
    Custom Research, Inc
    Trident Precision Mfg
    ADAC Laboratories
    Dana Commercial Credit
    Merrill Lynch
    3M Dental Products
    Solar Turbines, Inc.
    Sunny Fresh Foods
    Operations Management
    Los Alamos Natl Bank
    KARLEE Company
    Chugach School District
    Pal’s Sudden Service
    University of WI – Stout
    Clarke American Checks
    Pearl River School Dist.
    SSM Health Care
    Branch-Smith Printing
    St Luke’s Hospital
    Community Cons. Schools
    Caterpillar Financial
    Stoner, Inc.
    Baptist Hospital
    Boeing Aerospace Support
    Medrad, Inc.
    Monfort College of Business
    Texas Nameplate Company
    The Bama Companies, Inc.
    RW Johnson Hospital
    Park Place Lexus
    Bronson Methodist Hospital
    Richland College
    DynMcDermott Petroleum
    Jenks Public Schools
    MESA Products, Inc.
    Premier Inc.
    N. Mississippi Medical Center
    PRO-TEC Coating Company
    Mercy Health System
    Sharp Health Care
    City of Coral Springs
    US Army – ARDEC
    Poudre Valley Health System
    Cargill Corn Milling
    Iredell-Statesville Schools
    Heartland Health
    VA Cooperative Studies Program
  • 3. Prestige
  • 4. Self Assessment
    • Internal
    • 5. Consultant
  • Leadership
    Strategic Planning
    Customer Focus
    Measurement & Analysis
    Workforce Focus
    Process Management
  • 6. 11 Core Values
    Systems Perspective
    Focus on Results
    Societal Responsibility
    Managing for Innovation
    Management by Fact
    Focus on Future
    Valuing Workforce
    Organizational& Personal
  • 7. Organizational Profile
    Key Influences & Challenges
  • 8. Organizational Profile
    Environment, Relationships,
    & Challenges
    Strategic Planning
    Customer & Market Focus
  • 9. Leadership
    How do the actions of the organization’s senior leadership guide and sustain the organization?
  • 10. Strategic Planning
    How does the organization plan
    for its future?
  • 11. Customer Focus
    How does the company engage its customers for long-term marketplace success?
  • 12. Measurement,
    Analysis &
    Knowledge Management
  • 13. Organizational Profile
    Environment, Relationships,
    & Challenges
    Strategic Planning
    Customer & Market Focus
    Measurement, Analysis & Knowledge Management
  • 14. Measurement, Analysis
    Knowledge Management
    How well does the business gather and manage its knowledge assets and information technology?
  • 15. Organizational Profile
    Environment, Relationships,
    & Challenges
    Strategic Planning
    Human Resource Focus
    Customer & Market Focus
    Process Management
    Measurement, Analysis & Knowledge Management
  • 16. Workforce Focus
    How does the organization engage its workforce to achieve institutional and personal success?
  • 17. Process Management
    Are processes and systems designed and managed so as to deliver value and achieve organizational success?
  • 18. Organizational Profile
    Environment, Relationships, and Challenges
    Strategic Planning
    Human Resource Focus
    Customer & Market Focus
    Process Management
    Measurement, Analysis & Knowledge Management
  • 19. Results
  • 20. Two methods of assessment
    Award Program
    Self Assessment
    Most valuable result of participation in the Awards Program is feedback
  • 21. Review
    11 Core Values
    7 Criteria
    Strategic Planning
    Customer Focus
    Measurement, Analysis & Knowledge Management
    Workforce Focus
    Process Management
  • 22. Review
    In the end, it’s all about Results
    Product Performance
    Customer Satisfaction
    Marketplace Success
    Workforce Effectiveness
    Process Efficiency
    Quality of Leadership
  • 23. Presented By
    Team Star Performance
    Mary Corsi
    Janet Daugherty
    Deborah Foster
    Brandie Glessner
    Patricia LeClaire
    Carrie Pedri