The Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award was established way back in 1987 by the US Congress. The main rationale for starting this award program was to create a platform through which US organizations could be recognized based on their achievements in the corporate sector and service delivery (Brown 89).
In addition, the award was also meant to improve the awareness on the significance of maintaining high performance. This was found to be the best way through organizations would strive to have a competitive advantage over other market rivals. Specific products are not awarded in this program. Besides, the award may be conducted on an annual basis.
As already mentioned, the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award was established by the Congress as an honor to Malcolm Baldrige who was the one time Secretary in charge of Commerce for six consecutive years until his death in mid 1987 through a tragic road accident. He was known as a very strong proponent of high quality practices in organizations. The legislation on quality improvement received a major support from his personal initiative. Eventually after his death, the Congress recognized his contribution by establishing the award (Brown 75).
After the establishment of the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award in 1987, the first recognition was won by Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, IL, a manufacturing company, in 1988.
This was not the only organisation that won the very first award. The Commercial Nuclear Fuel Division of Westinghouse Electric Corp., Pittsburgh, PA as well as the Globe Metallurgical Inc., Beverly, OH also received the award. They were all manufacturing companies.
The last companies that won the award in 2010 were MEDRAD, Warrendale, PA, dealing with manufacturing, Nestle Purina PetCare Co., St. Louis, MO also in the manufacturing sector. The health care sector also received recognition when Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, IL won the award in this category. Among the small business category, Freese and Nichols Inc., Fort Worth, TX was awarded. Another in the small business category was K&N Management, Austin, TX.
There are quite a number of categories that are used in the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award. Nonetheless, the US President has the privilege of giving the award to the winning groups. Both the manufacturing and service sector are considered under this category (Pfeifer 61). In addition, businesses that are still small in size as well as large are also categorized independently depending on their performance. The other categories include health care and education.
In order to offer the award appropriately, there are unique criteria that are used. This performance excellence criterion is based on however well the organisation is managed. To begin with, the leadership system and structure of the organization is examined. Moreover, the manner in which the organisation handles its responsibilities both to the clients and the general public is also considered.
The next criterion used to assess performance is strategic planning. The mode used by the organisation in developing both short and long term strategic planning in addition to implementation is also scrutinized. Market focus and customer care is yet another criterion. The needs of clients as well as market needs are examined.
Other areas of interest include how information is gathered and analyzed, focus on human resource management, process management procedures in addition to business results. Some of the considerations made when examining the latter criteria include satisfaction of customers, performance index in the finances of the organisation in addition to operational performance (Pfeifer 53).
The King Abdul-Aziz Quality Award was established in 2008 by the Saudi Quality Council (WR). The establishment of the award was thereafter endorsed by the Saudi Arabian King. The main objective of the award is to optimize productivity, quality in addition to overall efficiency of the different departments and sectors within the Saudi economy (King Abdul Quality Award par. 1)
The first ever organisation to win the award was the Saudi Telecommunications Company. As the award continues to gain recognition, more companies are striving to improve on their performance and service delivery.
One of the latest winners of the award is the Savola plastics, a manufacturing company that deals mainly with the production of plastic containers.
There are three main categories that are used to present the King Abdul-Aziz Quality Award.
Firstly, well established organizations whose capital base is over one hundred million riyals are considered for the award. The organisation may belong to any sector such as manufacturing or service sector (King Abdul Quality Award par.2). The second category involves medium sized firms whose capital base is between ten to one hundred million riyals. The last category belongs to small scale organizations with operating capital less than ten million riyals.
Finally, the criteria used to offer the awards are based on excellence in overall performance of organizations and the adoption and implementation of best practices that satisfy customers’ needs. Other criteria used include leadership abilities and performance level at the marketplace (King Abdul Quality Award par. 4).
Brown, Graham Mark. Baldrige Award Winning Quality: How to Interpret the Baldrige Criteria for performance. New York: Productivity Press, 2006.
King Abdul Quality Award. About KAQA, 2010. Web, 13th Jan. 2011.
Pfeifer, Tilo. Quality management. Verlag: Hanser, 2002.