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What characterizes leading companies within business excellence models? An analysis of “EFQM recognized for excellence” recipients in Spain

Escrig, A. B. & de Menezes, L. M. (2015). What characterizes leading companies within business excellence models? An analysis of “EFQM recognized for excellence” recipients in Spain. International Journal of Production Economics, 169, pp. 362-375. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2015.08.019


This paper investigates whether there is a specific approach to the adoption of best management practices embedded in the EFQM Excellence Model, which characterizes leading “Recognized for Excellence” organizations in Spain. In addition, it studies which practices within EFQM’s enablers predict high performance. In contrast to most previous research that used surveys of managers’ perceptions, this study uses the actual criteria and sub-criteria scores attained by organizations in their assessment for EFQM recognition. Scores of a population of 216 organizations, which were assessed in the period from March 2011 to March 2013, are analyzed via ANOVA, factor and regression analyses. The findings show that Spanish organizations adopt the best practices encompassing the EFQM model in a similar fashion: organizations on average follow parallel trends in the scores received per criterion, and there are no significant differences in the importance attributed to enablers. Either role models are being followed, or most organizations know what is expected by the assessors and try to fulfil these expectations. Consequently, an imitative process disseminates and legitimizes the EFQM model in Spain. In addition, it is found that the People criterion makes a difference in attaining high performance, thus emphasizing the relative importance of the softer dimension in Quality Management. This study contributes to the management literature on best practices, by highlighting a consistent trend in the use of the EFQM model, and also provides insights to managers on how to better allocate resources within Business Excellence Models.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: EFQM Excellence Model, enablers, results, high performance, leading organizations, approaches to best practices
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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