Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
Awarded for Recognizing American businesses for excellence in applying the principles of Total Quality Management as embodied in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence
Sponsor National Institute of Standards and Technology
Country United States
First awarded 1988
Official website www.nist.gov/baldrige/

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is the national quality award that recognizes U.S. organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance excellence. The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the performance excellence of both public and private U.S. organizations given by the President of the United States. It is administered by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is based at and managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Up to 18 awards may be given annually across six eligibility categories—manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit. As of 2013, 101 awards have been presented to 95 organizations (including six repeat winners).[1]

The Baldrige National Quality Program and the associated award were established by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987 (Public Law 100–107). The program and award were named for Malcolm Baldrige, who served as United States Secretary of Commerce during the Reagan administration, from 1981 until Baldrige’s 1987 death in a rodeo accident. In 2010, the program's name was changed to the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program to reflect the evolution of the field of quality from a focus on product, service, and customer quality to a broader, strategic focus on overall organizational quality—called performance excellence.[2]

The award promotes awareness of performance excellence as an increasingly important element in competitiveness. It also promotes the sharing of successful performance strategies and the benefits derived from using these strategies. To receive a Baldrige Award, an organization must have a role-model organizational management system that ensures continuous improvement in delivering products and/or services, demonstrates efficient and effective operations, and provides a way of engaging and responding to customers and other stakeholders. The award is not given for specific products or services.

Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence[edit]

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence serve two main purposes: (1) to help organizations assess their improvement efforts, diagnose their overall performance management system, and identify their strengths and opportunities for improvement and (2) to identify Baldrige Award recipients that will serve as role models for other organizations. In addition, the Criteria help strengthen U.S. competitiveness by

  • improving organizational performance practices, capabilities, and results
  • facilitating communication and sharing of information on best practices among U.S. organizations of all types
  • serving as a tool for understanding and managing performance and for guiding planning and opportunities for learning

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence provide organizations with an integrated approach to performance management that results in

  • delivery of ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, contributing to organizational sustainability
  • improved organizational effectiveness and capabilities
  • organizational and personal learning

The following three sector-specific versions of the Criteria, which are revised every two years, are available from the Baldrige Program:

Early History of the Baldrige Program[edit]

In the early and mid-1980s, many U.S. industry and government leaders saw that a renewed emphasis on quality was necessary for doing business in an ever-expanding and more competitive world market. But many U.S. businesses either did not believe quality mattered for them or did not know where to begin.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987, signed into law on August 20, 1987, was developed through the actions of the National Productivity Advisory Committee, chaired by Jack Grayson. The nonprofit research organization APQC, founded by Grayson, organized the first White House Conference on Productivity, spearheading the creation of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1987. The Baldrige Award was envisioned as a standard of excellence that would help U.S. organizations achieve world-class quality.

In the late summer and fall of 1987, Dr. Curt Reimann, the first director of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program, and his staff at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed an award implementation framework, including an evaluation scheme, and advanced proposals for what is now the Baldrige Award. In its first three years, the Baldrige Award was jointly administered by APQC and the American Society for Quality, which continues to assist in administering the award program under contract to NIST.

Program Impacts[edit]

  • The ratio of Baldrige Program benefits for the U.S. economy to program costs has been estimated at 820 to 1 (Economic Evaluation of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, December 2011)
  • 95 Baldrige Award winners (including 6 two-time winners) serve as national role models.
  • Median growth in revenue for two-time Baldrige Award winners is 92.5%.
  • Median job growth for two-time Baldrige Award winners is 65.5% (compared with 2.5% for a matched set of industries and time periods).
  • 2010–2013 Baldrige Award applicants represent 470,403 jobs, over $77 billion in revenue/budgets, and about 434 million customers served.
  • The value of services donated by 482 national Baldrige examiners in 2013 is $7.3 million.
  • The value of services donated by state Baldrige-based examiners in 2013 is $30 million.

A study by Truven Health Analytics links hospitals that adopt and use the Baldrige Criteria to successful operations, management practices, and overall performance.

  • 65% of hospitals are likely to “use the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as a systematic framework for performance improvement or as an internal assessment tool” by 2018, according to survey results reported in Futurescan 2013.
  • According to the same survey, 41% of hospitals are likely to submit an application for the Baldrige Award or a state-level Baldrige-based award by 2018.

Public-Private Partnership[edit]

The Baldrige Award is supported by a distinctive public-private partnership. The following organizations and entities play a key role:

  • Members of the Board of Examiners—consisting of leading experts from U.S. businesses and education, health care, and nonprofit organizations—volunteer their time to evaluate award applications and prepare feedback reports for applicant organizations. Board members also share information about the program in their professional, trade, community, and state organizations. The Panel of Judges, part of the Board of Examiners, makes award recommendations to the director of NIST.
  • The network of state, regional, and local Baldrige-based award programs known as the Alliance for Performance Excellence provides potential award applicants and examiners, promotes the use of the Criteria, and disseminates information on the award process and concepts.
  • Award recipients share information on their successful performance and quality strategies with other U.S. organizations.

Baldrige Award Recipients[edit]

Year Award Recipient Sector
2013 Pewaukee School District, Pewaukee, WI education
Sutter Davis Hospital, Davis, CA health care
2012 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, TX manufacturing
MESA Products Inc., Tulsa, OK small business
North Mississippi Health Services, Tupelo, MS health care
City of Irving, Irving, TX nonprofit
2011 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO nonprofit
Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI health care
Schneck Medical Center, Seymour, IN health care
Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, AK health care
2010 MEDRAD, Warrendale, PA manufacturing
Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., St. Louis, MO manufacturing
Freese and Nichols Inc., Fort Worth, TX small business
K&N Management, Austin, TX small business
Studer Group, Gulf Breeze, FL small business
Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, IL health care
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD education
2009 Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, Kansas City, MO manufacturing
MidwayUSA, Columbia, MO small business
AtlantiCare, Egg Harbor Township, NJ health care
Heartland Health, St. Joseph, MO health care
VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center, Albuquerque, NM nonprofit
2008 Cargill Corn Milling North America, Wayzata, MN manufacturing
Poudre Valley Health System, Fort Collins, CO health care
Iredell-Statesville Schools, Statesville, NC education
2007 PRO-TEC Coating Co., Leipsic, OH small business
Mercy Health System, Janesville, WI health care
Sharp Healthcare, San Diego, CA health care
City of Coral Springs, Coral Springs, FL nonprofit
U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ nonprofit
2006 MESA Products, Inc., Tulsa, OK small business
Premier Inc., San Diego, CA service


North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo, MS health care
2005 Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc., Monticello, MN manufacturing
DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations, New Orleans, LA service
Park Place Lexus, Plano, TX small business
Richland College, Dallas, TX education
Jenks Public Schools, Jenks, OK education
Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI health care
2004 The Bama Companies, Tulsa, OK manufacturing
Texas Nameplate Company, Inc., Dallas, TX small business
Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business, Greeley, CO education
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Hamilton, NJ health care
2003 Medrad, Inc., Indianola, PA manufacturing
Boeing Aerospace Support, St. Louis, MO service
Caterpillar Financial Services Corp., Nashville, TN service
Stoner Inc., Quarryville, PA small business
Community Consolidated School District 15, Palatine, IL education
Baptist Hospital, Inc., Pensacola, FL health care
Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO health care
2002 Motorola Inc. Commercial, Government and Industrial Solutions Sector, Schaumburg, IL manufacturing
Branch-Smith Printing Division, Fort Worth, TX small business
SSM Health Care, St. Louis, MO health care
2001 Clarke American Checks, Incorporated, San Antonio, TX manufacturing
Pal’s Sudden Service, Kingsport, TN small business
Chugach School District, Anchorage, AK education
Pearl River School District, Pearl River, NY education
University of Wisconsin–Stout, Menomonie, WI education
2000 Dana Corp.-Spicer Driveshaft Division, Toledo, OH manufacturing
KARLEE Company, Inc., Garland, TX manufacturing
Operations Management International, Inc., Greenwood Village, CO service
Los Alamos National Bank, Los Alamos, NM small business
1999 STMicroelectronics, Inc.-Region Americas, Carrollton, TX manufacturing
BI Performance Services, Minneapolis, MN [3] service
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., Atlanta, GA service
Sunny Fresh Foods, Monticello, MN small business
1998 Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs, Long Beach, CA manufacturing
Solar Turbines Inc., San Diego, CA manufacturing
Texas Nameplate Company, Inc., Dallas, TX small business
1997 3M Dental Products Division, St. Paul, MN manufacturing
Solectron Corp., Milpitas, CA manufacturing
Merrill Lynch Credit Corp., Jacksonville, FL service
Xerox Business Services, Rochester, NY service
1996 ADAC Laboratories, Milpitas, CA manufacturing
Dana Commercial Credit Corp., Toledo, OH service
Custom Research Inc., Minneapolis, MN small business
Trident Precision Manufacturing Inc., Webster, NY small business
1995 Armstrong World Industries’ Building Products Operation, Lancaster, PA manufacturing
Corning Telecommunications Products Division, Corning, NY manufacturing
1994 AT&T Consumer Communications Services, Basking Ridge, NJ service
GTE Directories Corp., Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX service
Wainwright Industries Inc., St. Peters, MO small business
1993 Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, TN manufacturing
Ames Rubber Corp., Hamburg, NJ small business
1992 AT&T Network Systems Group/Transmission Systems Business Unit, Morristown, NJ manufacturing
Texas Instruments Inc. Defense Systems & Electronics Group, Dallas, TX manufacturing
AT&T Universal Card Services, Jacksonville, FL service
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., Atlanta, GA service
Granite Rock Co., Watsonville, CA small business
1991 Solectron Corp., Milpitas, CA manufacturing
Zytec Corp., Eden Prairie, MN manufacturing
Marlow Industries, Dallas, TX small business
1990 Cadillac Motor Car Division, Detroit, MI manufacturing
IBM Rochester, Rochester, MN manufacturing
Federal Express Corp., Memphis, TN service
Wallace Co. Inc., Houston, TX small business
1989 Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, SC manufacturing
Xerox Corp. Business Products and Systems, Rochester, NY manufacturing
1988 Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, IL manufacturing
Commercial Nuclear Fuel Division of Westinghouse Electric Corp., Pittsburgh, PA manufacturing
Globe Metallurgical Inc., Beverly, OH small business

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