Business Excellence Models Comparison


A business excellence framework is a concept, which a corporation might apply to aid in concentrating its activities and philosophies in an organized and efficient manner to generate improved performances. The models should be able to put focus in all dimensions of a company and most importantly factors that contribute to the organization’s success.

Various state organs have established corporate excellence concepts to set the foundations for the reward packages. The main aim is promoting excellence in organizations in order to produce improvements in the economic performance of the nations. The award programs at national, regional and local levels are for recognition and celebration of the achievements the organizations make as they move towards maturity. These awards are meant for assessing an organization and justifying that the organizations’ performances are world class (Mann, 2014).

There are several models in operation in various parts of the world. The most commonly known models are the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQ), the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), and the Dubai Quality Award Framework. The paper examines the similarities, differences and benefits of these models.

The similarities among the models

The first similarity among MBNQ, EFQM, and the Dubai Quality Award Framework is that all of them are non-prescriptive. None of these models can dictate the way that organizations have to follow to attain excellence. The journey to excellence is unique to each organization. However, all these models have standards that they have set up for evaluating the organizations. When assessing any organization for an award under any of the above models, the assessors use the same criteria in all the organizations that they are evaluating (The University of Warnick, 2009).

The MBNQ, EFQM, and the Dubai Quality Award Frameworks are all set upon the principal concepts that the focus is on the external factors such as the customers. However, the leadership styles of the managements are the major players in introducing total quality. The leaders ought to give the suggestion that the customer defines the desired quality levels of the service or product and that satisfying customers promote the aim of improving the qualities (Kanji, 2012).

The standing similarity among the MBNQ, EFQM, and the Dubai Quality Award Framework is the fact that all of these models stand for the continuous improvement as a way of attaining sustainable excellence. In fact, the models have the aim of building a learning organization. The models have the principle that the improvements as well as the success journey are more important to an organization in the end than just winning an award (Krivokapic & Petropoulos, 2006).

The MBNQ, EFQM, and the Dubai Quality Award Frameworks also have a holistic approach. The models identify various parts of the organizations that are evaluated as a whole structure implying that the shortages occurring in each segment of the arrangement must have an impact on the other parts of the whole scheme. The models hardly disagree that each organization has various aspects. Thus, the models center on the entire arrangement that is bigger than all parts. The argument is founded on the fact that the main aim of the model is the excellence of the unabridged classification and not just a fragment of it (Inaki & Landin, 2006).

The EFQM inspired and formed the foundation for the DQAF also known as the Dubai Excellence Reward Concept. Therefore, both models are almost alike as they have similar core values that they are based on and operating upon the same criteria.

The differences among these models

Most of the contents of the frameworks are the same, but there are little differences in the contents of these models. For instance, the EFQM has nine dimensions in which its criteria are based. The first five, which are called enablers, give an indication of how things are carried out within an organization including products and services, resources and processes, people, strategy, and leadership. The last four indicate what the enablers achieve including the key results, society, people, and customers.

The MBNQ model, on the other hand, has seven sources for its evaluation. The first is leadership, which evaluates how the top management is working towards achieving organizational quality. Strategic planning is the second step and involves the search for strategic mechanisms that organizations establish towards achieving high excellence. The third criterion is apparently founded on the market and customers. The step focuses on the methods that organizations employ to amass data about their clients and marketplace. The fourth basis is on information and analysis. In most cases, the criterion is used in assessing the criteria an organization uses in acquiring data and how it makes use of the information accrued. The fifth criterion deals with the human resource management processes while the sixth phase deals with process management. The fifth basis focuses on how employees participate towards achieving excellence for the organization. The sixth ground deals with the ways of recording processes and tools that are used in ensuring there is improvement in quality. The last focal area for MBNQ deals with the business results. The phase focuses on several performance measures that are illustrating the journey towards excellence (Biekzadeh & Dodangeh, 2012).

From the analysis of the criteria set by the models, the major difference in their structures only exists in the division of the results from the enablers that is in EFQM, but not MBNQ. One standing difference is found in the criterion of “customer results” from the EFQM model. The EFQM does not give a definite enabler that leads to the results. However, the critical processes address it instead.

The remaining criteria have similarities even though some get more emphasis on one model than the others get or have little differences. For example, the criterion for assessing leadership covers a wide area in the EFQM while that about processes is incorporated in the MBNQ model. The focus in the EFQM is on how the processes are managed while the MBNQ handles the concept with emphasis on how the processes are categorized (Kanji, 2012).


The benefits of business excellence models

Researches show that organizations that have an approach of a business excellence concept, usually realize numerous benefits. The concept serves as an avenue through which an organization can evaluate their journey to new advanced levels of management. The models enable the organizations to evaluate themselves regularly concerning their activities and the fruits that come with them. The resultant effect is that the models help the organizations to continue advancing towards excellence.

The implementation of any of the models also stands out as a booster for change. The concepts provide the management with a view of quality that is both adaptable and global. Thus, the concepts enable such organizations to have a deeper understanding of quality and put up processes of high quality to realize the set goals (Kanji, 2012).

Lastly, even if an organization hardly gets these benefits, the model it chooses to use provides the criterion for evaluating the performance and comparing it with that of other organizations or the world set standards. The main purpose of the business excellence concepts is the provision of practical methods meant for measuring that an organization progresses towards excellence. The organizations will be able to see the gaps in the processes and work towards their solutions to ensure excellence (Mann, 2014).


Biekzadeh, M & Dodangeh J 2012, ‘A review on major business excellence frameworks’, Technics Technologies Education Management, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 1386-1393.

Inaki, H & Landin, G 2006, ‘Delphi study on motivation for ISO 9000 and EFQM’, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 807-827.

Kanji, Gopal K 2012, Measuring business excellence, Routlege publishers, London

Krivokapic, Z & Petropoulos G, 2006, An overview and a comparison of ISO 9000:2000 quality system standards with related automotive ones and TQM models (MBNQA and EFQM), Faculty of Engineering Hunedoara, Romania.

Mann, R 2014, Business excellence tools, Web.

The University of Warnick 2009, Excellence models: comparison and relationship, Web.