Purpose – The purpose of the study is to describe the activities initiated based on participation in a quality award process and with the intention to improve performance. Design/methodology/approach – This study presents a case study of three organisations that have participated in the Swedish Quality Award process. The cases were selected in order to clarify how this award process could be used to improve organisational performance. Findings – Several examples of activities on how to improve organisational performance are provided. Specifically, the areas of customer orientation, process orientation, continuous improvement, committed leadership and participation by everyone have been improved due to the initiated activities. Furthermore, the studied organisations have been successful in their development and communication of visions, and in their empowerment of employees. Research limitations/implications – An interesting area of further research would be to compare different methodologies for performance improvement with one another. Practical implications – Findings from the case studies, and of importance for organisations applying for quality awards, indicate that, if the goal is to get lasting results, it is not sufficient to participate in a quality award process only once. Instead one should participate in the process several times, with enough time in between the applications in order to complete as many as possible of the improvement projects resulting from the evaluations. Originality/value – It is the authors' intention that the guidelines presented in the paper might be helpful for organisations considering a participation in a quality award process.
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2005
Keywords: Quality awards; Organizational performance; Self assessment; Total quality management; Sweden
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