Many organisations have attempted to improve their performance through self-assessment using business excellence models such as the Malcolm Baldrige Model and the European Excellence Model. Recently, however, many have become dissatisfied with this practice. This paper examines why self-assessment using these models might no longer be relevant and useful unless the models and the way they are being used is revised. We review both the academic and practical validity of the models and their procedures, on the basis of the published literature and the authors' own personal experience. The conclusions are that the academic validity of these business excellence models still leaves much to be desired and the business environment has changed considerably since the conception of the models in the late 1980s, such that their practical validity can be called into question. It is suggested that the original models might still be a useful guide to improvement but only for organisations whose conformance quality is poor. More advanced organisations should choose their own relevant dimensions and weightings rather than use any standard one-size-fits-all model with more attention being paid to the processes by which their own business models and strategy are developed.

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Total Quality Management and Business Excellence
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Williams, A.R.T, Bertsch, H.B, van der Wiele, A, van Iwaarden, J.D, & Dale, B.G. (2006). Self-assessment against business excellence models: A critique and perspective. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence (Vol. 17, pp. 1287–1300). doi:10.1080/14783360600753737