The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is an award for excellence in quality improvement and quality management. It sets very high standards for quality. Furthermore, firms that win the award have demonstrated excellence in the quality of systems, processes, and consumer satisfaction.
The US Congress established the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1987. As a result, only US firms receive Malcolm Baldrige quality awards; however, the award is recognized internationally. The US President gives the Baldrige award to the winning firms. Malcolm Baldrige was Secretary of Commerce from 1981 to 1987. Baldrige was a strong proponent of quality management at U.S. firms, so he helped draft the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act. As a result of his efforts, Congress named the award in his honor.
Several Malcolm Baldrige quality awards may be given annually to manufacturing companies, service companies, small and large businesses, education organizations, health care organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Furthermore, the purpose of the Baldrige award is to raise awareness of quality management among consumers. It also motivates U.S. companies and organizations to raise their quality standards and strive for excellence in quality improvement and management.
Each year many companies apply for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the winners are chosen based on seven criteria. The criteria are leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and results.
Baldrige criteria includes the following:
For more information on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program and to see a list of firms and organizations that are Baldrige award winners, go to: quality.nist.gov.
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