The Baldrige Award is a scheme which measures the success of an organization’s implementation of TQM. It bases its judgment upon seven main criteria which includes: leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, workforce focus, process management, results and measurement, analysis and knowledge management. Each category specifies a set of marks that are awarded to organization based on their performance against the particular criteria.
Leadership The concept of leadership is a crucial aspect of the Baldrige Award and assesses the ability of senior management to guide and address its responsibilities both to the public and as fellow citizens (Gitlow and Gitlow, 1994). Therefore, leadership is considered as management’s responsibility to maintain and endorse the vision of the organization, with a particular focus on customer satisfaction rather than internal management control.
The responsibilities of senior management include: allocating resources, establishing strategic quality goals, reviewing quality indicators, estimating cost, ensuring employees’ efforts and providing adequate training (Andersin et al, 1994). However Sadikoglu suggests that the roles of management are far more proactive due to the fact that accountable for the production of products, which meet the changing needs of customers (Sadikoglu, 2008). Sadikoglu also suggest that leadership forces approximately 85% of business failure to rest on the shoulders of management (Sadikoglu, 2008).
The advantage of such a situation is that it motivates employees due to added job security. Having said that, employees often play a crucial role decision making by suggesting innovations, improving products and solving problems (Prajogo and Sohal, 2001). Strategic Planning Strategic planning is a vital part of the Baldrige Award and an element of strategic management, which is the process of examining the internal and external environment in order to create strategies in order to achieve the organisation’s mission and satisfy key stakeholders (Steiss, 1985).
According to Steiss, strategic planning is essentially to the development of objectives and strategies, and allocating resources in order to achieve these strategies (Steiss, 1985). In order to achieve success, TQM requires strategic plan must contain three elements; high levels of customer orientation, providing direction and context for TQM and the appropriateness of the organizations strategies which must ensure long term success and provide increased value to customers(Howard, 1995) .
Juran advocates that all parts of an organization must be part of the creation a strategic plan in order to create a more effective method of implementation and should be engrossed within the organisation’s culture (Juran 1989). Customer Focus A central component to TQM and the Baldrige Award, customer focus is the theory that organizations must monitor and analyse customer behavior in order to create products, which satisfy their wants and needs (Steiss, 1985).
This is considered as a vital component of TQM due to the belief that a customer is drawn to a product because they perceive it to meet or exceed their expectations. Sadikoglu states that by focusing on customers, quality will increase as it requires a reduction in defective products and costs. In addition, this theory is particularly evident when the organization contains a large amount of internal customers (Sadikoglu, 2008). Usually these individuals are required for the creation of the end product.
Therefore, in many organizations a balance must be established between external and internal customers in order to ensure quality. In order to achieve the main aim of customer focus, the organization must take necessary steps in an effort to understand the continual altering nature of customer needs and wants (Sadikoglu 2008). Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management in the Baldrige Award is the measure how information is gathered, selected, analysed, managed, improved and stored.
In addition, it also calculates the management of information technology and the effectiveness of the system within the organization. It highlights the effectiveness of collection and analyses of information on customer needs, operational issues and the accomplishments of improvement efforts. The outcome of consistently collecting and analyzing information is argued to yield more success in the long run as all decisions are informed. There are two main forms of analyzing information. The first is through the use of statistics as it is seen to be an effective base to make decisions upon.
The second method is through a new form of analyzing called Data-mining which involves the utilization of software as a method of measurement. The use of information and technology is a concept of TQM and the Baldrige Award which has grown in importance due to the fact that a greater amount of customers are becoming reliant on the internet to buy and uncover product to meet their needs. More than ever, it has become essential that defective-free software and the ability to make required changes to software is available and of a high quality of standard (Williams et al, 2004).