A Structural Model Analysis of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Framework

S. Ghosh
R. B. Handfield
V. R. Kannan
K. C. Tan


The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) has become a model for the deployment of quality programmes. While the framework underlying the award has been used extensively by organisations, both for award and self-assessment purposes, little empirical evidence exists regarding its validity as a predictor of organisational performance. This research presents a structural equation model that explicitly tests the relationships between strategic and operational quality planning implied by the framework, and their impact on performance. Results support the theory underlying the Baldrige award. Specifically, the strategic quality planning process, mediated by the effective use of information and analysis, is the driver of operational quality planning. Positive business results are the outcome of this planning process. Results also show that customer and market focus is a crucial input to strategic quality planning, the commitment of senior leadership is critical in securing a customer and market focus, and operational level business processes are driven by a strategic commitment to human resource management.