Revisiting Two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winners

Topics: Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Management, Quality Pages: 13 (4254 words) Published: November 20, 2011
Revisiting two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winners:

Organizational Focus: Eastman Chemical Company Pal’s Sudden Service by Forrest B. Green Israel Long Jason Suddarth Luke Taylor Woon Yang Corresponding Author: Forrest B. Green Department of Management and Marketing Box 6954, Radford University, Radford, VA 24142 Phone: (540) 831-5080 Fax: (540) 831-6261 Email:

International Journal of Quality and Productivity Management Vol.5, No.1, December 15, 2005

Green, Long, Suddarth, Taylor and Yang

Revisiting two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winners By Forrest B. Green, Israel Long, Jason Suddarth, Luke Taylor, and Woon Yang Radford University, Radford, VA 24142

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program has been in operation since 1988. During this period, a variety of firms and organizations have received the honor of winning the award. In this study, two prior winners, one large fortune 500 chemical company and the other, a small fast food restaurant chain are revisited. The contrast between these two companies is striking, yet both of them are benefited from the Baldrige experience in different ways. Moreover, the award itself has changed over the years with the addition of two categories and a stronger emphasis on results, to such extent that some wonder if the Malcolm Baldrige Award is still about excellence in quality. KEY WORDS: MALCOLM BALDRIGE AWARD, QUALITY

Winning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award has become a goal that many businesses strive to obtain. The award demands instant respect and admiration from others in the industry. There have been relatively few winners since its inception in 1987 (Jones, 2004). Organizations that have been able to achieve this honor often find themselves turned into miniature tourist attractions for those interested in business. Individuals from around the world flock to these companies in order to obtain valuable knowledge and insight. Pal’s Sudden Service and Eastman Chemical Company are both past winners of the award and each provides an excellent example of Malcolm Baldrige award-winning practices. The two companies are located less than a mile apart in Kingsport, TN making it possible for us to tour both facilities in a short amount of time. Pal’s is in the fast-food business while Eastman manufacturers and distributes chemical-based products around the world. It would be difficult to find two companies in more different businesses, but the Malcolm Baldrige practices apply to each. Presented on the following pages is a brief recap of the award criteria, a study of each of the two companies, and an assessment of the award’s value after several years of operation.

In 1987, witnessing fierce competition from foreign organizations, the United States Congress created the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in order to raise awareness about the importance of quality and performance excellence as a competitive edge. The award was envisioned to entice domestic companies into being better prepared to compete globally. The Baldrige Award is given by the President of the United States to businesses, manufacturing IV-1

International Journal of Quality and Productivity Management Vol.5, No.1, December 15, 2005

Green, Long, Suddarth, Taylor and Yang

and service, small and large—and to education and health care organizations that apply and are judged to be outstanding in seven areas viz. leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and business results. Currently, three awards may be given annually in each of the following categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, and health care. The judging of each entrant is accomplished by strict standards. If there is not an entrant available that meets all of the criteria, then no award is given. Past...
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