An investigation into the challenges of implementing the EFQM excellence model




Adeyemi, Adeolu A.
Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo
Lim, Ming K.
Kumar, Vikas
Rocha-Lona, Luis

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DEStech Publications, Inc.


In recent times there has been an increasing trend, among organisations, towards the adoption of business excellence models (i.e. EFQM, Malcolm Baldrige, and Deming) as a strategic approach to drive improvements. This research takes a divergent-empirical perspective from the narrow view of current studies by investigating the challenges that organisations face when implementing the EFQM model. Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with a group of five EFQM experts that comprised quality management consultants and business managers. Primary data from participants was analysed using the qualitative content analysis approach, to collect, organise and extract key contents from the interview data. The results of the study suggest that, like with most TQM initiatives, the challenges that organisations face when implementing the EFQM model include factors such as: lack of viable leadership and top management support, lack of adequate planning, lack of skills, resources intensity, closed vertical communication, focus on short-term objectives (quick results), lack of employee commitment, and organisational structure, size and sector. The results of this empirical study can help managers and business excellence professionals understand the barriers and challenges that can impede the effective implementation of the EFQM model. It is only by understanding these challenges that best practises can be developed in order to mitigate them.


Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Flexible Automation & Intelligent Manufacturing, held May 20-23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, and organized by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems, University of Texas at San Antonio
Includes bibliographical references


Total quality management, Business planning