THE MALCOLM BALDRIGE NATIONAL
QUALITY ASSURANCE AWARD
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizes U.S.
organizations in various sectors for performance excellence.
The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the
performance excellence of both public and private U.S.
organizations given by the President of the United States.
It is administered by the Baldrige Performance Excellence
Program, which is based at and managed by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S.
Department of Commerce.
Up to 18 awards may be given annually across six eligibility
The Baldrige Award is named after the late Secretary of
Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, a proponent of quality
He was a very big proponent of quality management at
a time when quality was not a large issue.
He helped draft one of the early versions of the Quality
Improvement Act .
In recognition of his contributions in showing the
importance of quality, the award was named after him.
REASONS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE
MALCOLM BALDRIGE QUALITY AWARD
Government officials saw that quality improvement was no
longer an option for American business, but a necessity.
Many businesses did not think quality was an important issue.
Others knew that it was important, but did not know where to
begin the improvement process.
HOW CAN THE AWARD BE USED TO HELP AN
The criteria for winning the award are very demanding and
simply trying to align a company to them is highly beneficial.
It can be used as a motivational tool for workers to rally
behind a common goal.
Simply by competing for the award an organization sees the
importance of quality in their business.
HOW AN ORGANIZATION IS CHOSEN AS A
55% of evaluation is based on how the organization is
run, 45% on the basis of performance.
Every major part of the organization is accessed.
Continuous improvement and reevaluation is very important.
CORE VALUES & CONCEPTS
Organizational and personal learning
Valuing workforce members and partners
Focus on the future
Managing for innovation
Management by fact
Focus on results and creating value
CRITERIA FOR PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE
Customer and Market Focus
Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management
Human Resource Focus
From top to bottom, the framework has the following basic
1. Organizational Profile –
Organizational Profile (top of figure) sets the context for
the way your organization operates. Your environment,
key working relationships, and strategic challenges
serve as an overarching guide for your
performance management system.
2. System Operations –
The system operations are composed of the six Baldrige
Categories in the center of the figure that define your
operations and the results you can achieve.
Leadership (Category 1), Strategic Planning (Category 2), and
Customer and Market Focus (Category 3) represent the
leadership triad. These Categories are placed together to
emphasize the importance of a leadership focus on strategy
and customers. Senior leaders set your organizational
direction and seek future opportunities for your organization.
Management (Category 6), and Business Results
accomplish the work of the organization that yields your
All actions point toward Business Results—a composite of
customer, product and service, financial, and internal operational
performance results, including human resource and social
The horizontal arrow in the center of the framework links the
leadership triad to the results triad, a linkage critical to
Furthermore, the arrow indicates the central relationship between
Leadership (Category 1) and Business Results (Category 7). The
two-headed arrow indicates the importance of feedback in an
effective performance management system.
3. System Foundation –
Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management(Category
4) are critical to the effective management of your organization
and to a fact-based system for improving performance and
competitiveness. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge serve
as a foundation for the performance management system.