Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) is the annual national award established by the US Congress in 1987. Its aim is to recognize the improvements in quality among organizations. There were three primary reasons for establishing MBNQA[1]:

  • raising the quality awareness of the US business leaders,
  • providing an extensive framework for measuring the quality efforts of the businesses in the US,
  • providing a template for a comprehensive Total Quality Management system.

Each year up to five awards can be given in each category. In addition, there are numerous organizations which adopt the MBNQA framework for self-assessment purposes only, without an intention to apply for the award itself. One of the reasons is that in the absence of alternative comprehensive guidelines on how to enhance quality within the organization, the award's framework may be an appropriate equivalent[2].

The evolution of the MBNQA theoretical model

When first established, MBNQA was dedicated to service businesses, manufacturers, and small businesses. The scope of the award was expanded in 1999 to cover educational and health care organizations and subsequently in 2005 to include government and nonprofit organizations. According to the 2013-2014 criteria, the MBNQA model consists of seven distinct categories[3]:

  1. Leadership
  2. Strategic planning
  3. Customer focus
  4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management (MAKM)
  5. Workforce focus
  6. Operations focus
  7. Results

The model presented above is an update to the previous framework, introduced in 2002. Both models encourage the theory that the leadership triad composed of leadership, strategic planning and customer focus drives the results in business. The main difference between the two frameworks is highlighting the importance of the information systems role in the 2013-2014 version. It is visible in developing the fourth category from information and analysis to measurement, analysis, and knowledge management[4].


  1. Curkovic S., Melnyk S., Calantone R., Handfield R. 2000, 768.
  2. Ghosh S., Handfield R. B., Kannan V. R., Tann K. C. 2003
  3. Peng X., Prybutok V. 2014, 630.
  4. Peng X., Prybutok V. 2014, 630.


Author: Magdalena Wojslaw