Resources »  » Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award


Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

One proven approach to increasing national productivity and enhancing competitiveness is the establishment of a national quality award program. That was the premise behind the establishment of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, established by an act of US Congress in 1987. Originally a business-oriented framework for manufacturing, service, and small businesses, it was expanded in 1998 to include healthcare and educational organizations and then extended to nonprofit organizations as well. The main objective of the award program, which is given by the US president, is to recognize achievements in quality and performance. The award is not given for specific products or services. Malcolm Baldrige was the US Secretary of Commerce from 1981 until his accidental death in July 1987. He was a proponent of quality management as a key to national prosperity and long-term strength. He took a personal interest in the quality improvement act that was eventually named after him and helped draft one of the early versions. In recognition of Baldrige’s contributions, the US Congress named the award in his honor. The Baldrige performance excellence criteria are a framework that any organization can use to improve overall performance. Seven categories make up the award criteria:

1. Leadership;

2. Strategic planning;

3. Customer and market focus;

4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management;

5. Human resource focus;

6. Process management; and

7. Business results.

These seven categories are further subdivided into 19 items, each focusing on a major requirement. The criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award have played a major role in achieving the goals established by the US Congress. They now are accepted widely around the world as a framework for performance excellence. The criteria are designed to help organizations enhance their competitiveness through a continuing improvement process by focusing on two goals: delivering ever-improving value to customers and improving overall organizational performance.

Translate »