In 1987, an act of Congress created the Baldrige Award and established the Baldrige program. The first Baldrige Awards were given in 1988 and two or more Awards have been presented every year since.
The Baldrige program is a public-private partnership funded by the federal government and the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the Baldrige program. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) assists.
According to the 2009-2010 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence:
The Criteria are the basis for conducting organizational self-assessments, for making Awards, and for giving feedback to applicants. In addition, the Criteria have three important roles in strengthening U.S. competitiveness:
- To help improve organizational performance practices, capabilities, and results
- To facilitate communication and sharing of information on best practices among U.S organizations of all types
- To serve as a working tool for understanding and managing performance and for guiding organizational planning and appropriate learning
The Criteria are designed to help provide organizations with an integrated approach to organizational performance management that results in:
- Delivery of ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, contribution to organizational sustainability
- Improvement of overall organizational effectiveness and capabilities
- Organizational and personal learning
The Criteria are built on eleven interrelated core values and concepts: visionary leadership, customer-driven excellence, organizational and personal learning, valuing workforce members and partners, agility, focus on the future, managing for innovation, management by fact, societal responsibility, focus on results and creating value, and systems perspective.
Organizations that regularly assess and improve their management systems using the Baldrige Criteria integrate the Baldrige model and embed the Baldrige core values. As a result, their management systems become a competitive advantage as they improve their ability to meet and exceed customer requirements.
A complete list of Baldrige Award recipients can be found here. Since 1999, all of the recipients have made summaries of their Award-winning applications available online. Just click on “award application summary” under the organization’s name.