Contents :
  1. Introduction of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA).
  2. Framework of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA).
  3. Features and Criteria of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA).
  4. Advantages and Disadvantages of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA).

What is MBNQA  ?

The Malcolm Baldrige Award was established in 1987 and became Public Law 100-107. It was named after the late Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, who was an advocate of quality. The American Society for Quality administers the award, ASQ is under contract to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is responsible for the continuation and management of the award.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Recognizes U.S. Organisations in :
  • Manufacturing.
  • Service company.
  • Small business.
  • Education.
  • Healthcare.
  • Non-profit organisations (NG0).
The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the performance excellence of both public and private U.S. organisations 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 categories manufacturing, service, small business, education, healthcare, and non-profit. AS of 2010, 91 organisations had received the award.

Although the Baldrige Award is not as rigorous or as all-inclusive as the recommended approaches of Deming and Juran, it still is consistent with these approaches in the following areas :
  • Prevention versus detection.
  • Meeting customer requirements 
  • Using statistics for process and product quality.
  • Process analysis and improvement.
  • Implementing a systematic approach to improvement.
The award promotes awareness of performance excellence as an increasingly important element in competitiveness. It also promotes the sharing of successful performance strategies and the benefits derived from using these strategies. To receive a Baldrige Award, an organisation must have a role-model organisational management system that ensures continuous improvement in delivering products and/or services, demonstrates efficient and effective operations, and provides a way of engaging and responding to customers, and other stakeholders. The award is not given for specific products or services.

Framework of MBNQA :

The Baldrige Award has seven categories. Each category is assigned a maximum point value as follows :

Each category is further broken into several examination areas to address as follow :

1) Leadership -

i) Senior Executive Leadership :
Evaluates the senior leadership and personal involvement in setting direction, developing and maintaining a performance-oriented leadership system.

ii) Leadership System and Organisation : 
Assesses how the organisation's customer focus and performance expectations are reflected in the leadership system as well as the ensuing management and organisation.

iii) Public Responsibility and Corporate Citizenship : 
Evaluates how the company addresses its responsibilities to the public in its performance management practices.

2) Information and Analysis -

i) Management of Information and Data : 
Evaluates the company's determination and management of information and data that are subsequently used for strategic planning, management, and overall performance.

ii) Competitive Comparisons and Benchmarking : 
Evaluates the company's processes and usage of comparison data to improve the overall performance and competitive position.

iii) Analysis and Use of Company Level Data : 
Assesses how quality, customer, operational performance, and relevant financial data are analysed and used to support company level reviews, actions, and planning.

3) Strategic Planning -

i) Strategic Development : 
Evaluates the short-term and long-term strategic planning process for competitive leadership and overall operational performance excellence.

ii) Strategic Deployment : 
Assesses the development and deployment of the key business drivers.

4) Human Resource Development and Management -

i) Human Resource Planning and Evaluation : 
Assesses the human resource planning and evaluation as well as its alignment and integration into the strategic plan. The development and overall well-being of the workforce are also analysed in this section.

ii) High Performance Work Systems : 
Evaluates how the company's job design and recognition programs motivate the employees to high performance.

iii) Employee Education, Training, and Development : 
Evaluates how the education and training fit in with the company's plans, inclusive of growth of company capabilities and motivation.

iv) Employee Well-Being and Satisfaction : 
Evaluates bow the company maintains a conducive work environment and sustains the well-being and development of employees.

5) Process Management -

i) Design and Introduction of Quality Products and Services : 
Evaluates how new and improved products and services are introduced and how the processes (from manufacture to delivery) are designed to accommodate key product and service quality requirements.

ii) Process Management - Product and Service Production and Delivery :
Assesses the management of production and delivery processes to ensure quality and operational performance.

iii) Process Management - Support Services : 
Assesses key support services and the management approach to ensure quality and continuous improvement.

iv) Management of Supplier Performance : 
Evaluates how the company's materials, components, and other supplier-furnished services meet the company's quality requirements.

6) Business Results -

i) Product and Service Quality Results :
Evaluates the performance results of products and services using key performance measures and indicators.

ii) Company Operational and Financial Results :
Evaluates the operational performance, financial performance, and improvement efforts using key measures and indicators.

iii) Human Resource Results : 
Assesses human resource results inclusive of the development and well being of employees.

iv) Supplier Performance Results :
Evaluates the results of supplier performance and process improvement initiatives using key measures and indicators.

7) Customer Focus and Satisfaction -

i) Customer Market and Knowledge : 
Assesses how the company establishes short-term and long-term customer requirements and develops strategies to understand and anticipate customer needs.

ii) Customer Relationship Management : 
Evaluates management responses and follow-ups with customers in an effort to establish and build relationships, increase knowledge about their customers, improve customer performance, and generate new and improved ideas for products and services.

iii) Customer Satisfaction Determination : 
Assesses how the company determines customer satisfaction and how their customer satisfaction compares to competitors.

iv) Customer Satisfaction Results : 
Assesses how the company measures customer satisfaction using key performance measures and indicators.

Points are awarded based on a company's institutionalization of the philosophy prescribed by the award criteria. Although several companies can win the award in the same year in the fields of manufacturing and service, some of the Malcolm Baldrige Award winners include Motorola and Westinghouse Electric Corporation (1988), Xerox Business Products and Systems (1989), Cadillac Motor Division, IBM Rochester, and Federal Express Corporation (1990), Solectron Corporation (1991), Texas Instruments and AT&T Network Systems Group (1992), Eastman Chemical Company (1993), GTE Directories Corporation (1994), Corning Telecommunications Products Division (1995), ADAC Laboratories (1996), 3M Dental Products Division and Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation (1997), Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs (1998), the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (1999), and KARLEE Company (2000).

Features of MBNQA :

Fallowing are the important features of Malcolm Baldrige Award :

1) Facilitates Communication : 
MBNQA facilitates communication and sharing of best practices among U.S. organisations and serves as a working tool for understanding and managing performance, planning, training and assessment.

2) Promotes Quality : 
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) was created to promote quality awareness identify the requirements for quality excellence, and share information about successful quality strategies and benefits.

3) Unique and Effective Scoring Component : 
The MBNQA criteria have an emerged as the single, most comprehensive model for the total quality management that is available. It has a unique and effective scoring component that enables a company or organisation to measure its current level of quality achievement, and to them evaluate its progress over time. No other quality management model has the vital features.

4) Categories : 
In MBNQA Categories are divided in Leadership, Strategic Planning, Customer and Market Focus, Information and Analysis, Human Resource Focus, Process Management and Business Results.

5) Holistic Set of Measurement : 
The Baldrige criteria for the measuring performance excellence represent a comprehensive an holistic set of measure that can be used to examine individual school and school system reform efforts from a quality perspective regardless of difference in reform structure from one initiative to another.

6) Administrated and Conducted by Leading Business Experts : 
While the MBNQA criteria are administrated by the Department of commerce, it was designed by leading business experts, and has been enhanced since its introduction through annual. Critical review conducted by leading business practitioners, academicians and consultant. A study conducted by the United State general Accounting Office conclusively demonstrated that the application of the Malcolm Baldrige Award criteria has resulted in improved productivity, competitiveness and profitability.

Criteria for Performance Excellence in MBNQA :

Organisations that apply for the Baldrige Award are judged by an independent board of examiners. Recipients are selected based on achievement and improvement in seven areas, known as the Baldrige :

1) Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management : 
How the organisation uses data to support key processes and manage performance.

2) Leadership : 
How upper management leads the organisation, and how the organisation leads within the community.

3) Human Resource Focus : 
How the organisation empowers and involves its workforce.

4) Business/Organisational Performance Results :
How the organisation performs in terms of customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, and how the organisation compares to its competitors.

5) Customer and Market Focus :
How the organisation builds and maintains strong, lasting relationships with customers.

6) Strategic Planning : 
How the organisation establishes and plans to implement strategic directions.

7) Process Management :
How the organisation designs, manages and improves key processes.

Advantages of MBNQA :

The advantages of MBNQA are as follows :
  1. Recognises the achievements of those companies that improve the quality of their goods and services and providing an example to others.
  2. Helps in achieving sustainable results in today's challenging environment.
  3. Helps organisations to think strategically.
  4. Helps American companies to improve quality and productivity for the pride of recognition while obtaining a competitive edge through increased profits.
  5. Establishing guidelines and criteria that can be used by business, industrial, governmental and other enterprises in evaluating their own quality improvement efforts.
  6. Providing specific guidance for other American enterprises that wish to learn how to manage for high quality by making available detailed information on how winning enterprises were able to change their cultures and achieve eminence.
  7. Helps companies align processes, people, resources, and customers' needs.

Disadvantages of MBNQA :

1) Use the Award's Assessment Process and not the Award : 
Some companies considered the Baldrige National Quality Award assessment by outside examiners to be an expensive process. They therefore embraced the award's assessment criteria internally, rather than actually applying for the Baldrige Award. This is why every year the number of requests for the Baldrige Award applications has been much larger than the actual number of applicants for the award.

2) Over-Advertisement : 
One expectation (and almost a condition for winning) from the award Winners of the Baldrige National Quality Award has been that they were expected to spread the information on how they improved their quality. While doing so, some companies could use the winning of the award in their advertisements and promotion materials. However, they should do so in a manner that may not suggest that their entire organisation practices and achieves excellent award-worthy performance. 
For example, the Cadillac Division of General Motors was the winner of the 1990 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the manufacturing category. Some critics considered their promotion of winning the award as over-advertising.

3) Incremental improvements : 
Baldrige Quality Award assessment depends on incremental annual improvements. Hypothetically, some applicant companies may be tempted to first report the results of a bad year, and then show dramatic incremental improvements in the subsequent year in which they apply for the Baldrige Award.

4) Baldrige Award is Division-Based and not Organisation-Wide : 
In the categories related to the large organisations, the Baldrige Quality Awards were awarded based on the assessment of the quality practices and achievements of a particular division of the large organisation. The Baldrige Award therefore reflected the practices and achievements of that particular division only. This implied that an award-Winning organisation can have an island of excellence in one part of the large organisation. Other divisions of the award-winning large organisation may have much lower or even poor quality standards. The winning organisation as a whole may even have an overall poor performance, and many dissatisfied customers.

5) Narrow Focus : 
Some companies may work hard only on the categories and the numbers that the evaluation procedure for the Baldrige Quality Award evaluates. They may thereby overlook other critical aspects that define their competitiveness in the global markets.

6) Applying for the Award is too Expensive :
The assessment process used for Baldrige Quality Award is quite lengthy. Some critics have argued that the assessment process required full-time involvement of many senior-level employees and managers for a considerably long time. According to some estimates, the award procedures could cost up to $250,000. The critics of the Baldrige Quality Award considered this as a non-productive investment that did not add value to the bottom line.