Baldrige National Quality Program

Performance Management Excellence Models

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a business excellence framework that is given by the President of the United States to businesses—different industries and size—and to education, health care and nonprofit organizations that apply for it (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2010). The judgment process follows quality criteria in seven areas:

  • leadership;
  • strategic planning;
  • customer and market focus;
  • measurement, analysis, and knowledge management;
  • workforce focus;
  • process management;
  • results.



Malcolm Baldrige was the Secretary of Commerce (1981-1987), which took a personal interest in quality management and improvement, considering it a key to this country’s prosperity and long-term strength. In recognition of his contribution in this area, Congress named the award in his honor.

This award was introduced by the US Government in 1987 in order to promote quality awareness, recognize and publicize the best quality achievements and strategies. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987 aimed to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. businesses.



The Award Program was first created in order to:

  • identify and recognize role-model businesses
  • establish criteria for evaluating improvement efforts
  • disseminate and share best practices.



The initial set of criteria included:
• Financial metrics (Profits per employee)
• Customer perceived quality metrics (Market cycle, Late deliveries)
• Internal process metrics (Defects, Total manufacturing time, Order entry time, Supplier defects)
• Employee metrics (Training per employee, Morale)

Last 10 organisations receiving the award

  • 2009—Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, MidwayUSA, AtlantiCare, Heartland Health, VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center
  • 2008—Cargill Corn Milling North America, Poudre Valley Health System, and Iredell-Statesville Schools
  • 2007—PRO-TEC Coating Co., Mercy Health Systems, Sharp HealthCare, City of Coral Springs, and U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering (ARDEC)
  • 2006—Premier, Inc. MESA Products Inc., and North Mississippi Medical Center
  • 2005—Sunny Fresh Foods Inc., DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations, Park Place Lexus, Jenks Public Schools, Richland College, and Bronson Methodist Hospital
  • 2004—The Bama Companies, Texas Nameplate Company Inc., Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton
  • 2003—Medrad Inc., Boeing Aerospace Support, Caterpillar Financial Services Corp., Stoner Inc., Community Consolidated School District 15, Baptist Hospital Inc., and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City
  • 2002—Motorola Inc. Commercial, Government and Industrial Solutions Sector, Branch Smith Printing Division, and SSM Health Care
  • 2001—Clarke American Checks Inc., Pal’s Sudden Service, Chugach School District, Pearl River School District, and University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • 2000—Dana Corp.-Spicer Driveshaft Division, KARLEE Company Inc., Operations Management International Inc., and Los Alamos National Bank



  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (2010), Baldrige National Quality Program, available at: (accessed 16 August 2010).

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