National and Regional Quality Awards Comparison


“A Comparative Analysis Of National and Regional Quality Awards” by Vokurka, Stading, and Brazeal suggests an overview of the quality systems of the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia. These quality systems were chosen because these regions are responsible for a significant amount of the world’s products (Vakura, Stadin & Brazeal 2000, p. 42). The main criteria of the quality award programs of these countries are the moving force of the tendencies in the competing business organizations of the world. The article analyses five of the biggest quality award programs and reveals many similar strategies in their basis and practice.

Key Learning Points

The article by Vokurka, Stading, and Brazeal is focused on exploring the strategies and tendencies that force the world’s most renowned manufacturers to compete for the place in their markets and at the same time dictate the quality standards to all their competitors. The article studies the keys to quality performance in the global arena and presents the main requirements for the organizations and firms striving to occupy the highest ranks. The key elements the award programs focus on are:

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  • Leadership (planning and strategies employed by the leaders of the business)
  • Employee involvement (the workers are responsible for the quality of the results of their work)
  • Process or product excellence (oriented at constant improvement)
  • Continuous improvement (constant learning and development are the most important factors influencing business quality)
  • Customer focus (the mission of any business is to satisfy the customer)

Relevant Statements to the Session

Organizational excellence starts with strategy and business planning. To be able to put the plan into action and follow and evaluate the progress scorecards are employed.

The process of organizational self-assessment is another highly important element forming and improving organizational excellence. The evaluation of the business process and well-timed modifications of the working strategy serve to make the business more effective.

To achieve the goals the company’s strategy is based on the manager’s need to evaluate and determine the results the company’s customers expect it to produce. Besides, viewing the organizational work from the perspective of the stakeholders is very important to fulfill their expectations from the business and maintain good relations with the investors.

Critical Analysis

The figures demonstrating the percentage emphasis of the quality award criteria of various countries make it visible that the approach the Japanese quality program employs is significantly different from the ones practiced in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. While western societies and organizations are focused on looking for the aspects of a business that reflect its quality in the best way, the Japanese quality award program is determined to evaluate the applicants spreading the value equally between the ten main criteria.

As a result, the contemporary focus of the quality control programs of the West is compiled of the categories of customer and people focus and business results and performance. To my mind, the Western models of quality evaluation are more reasonable, because business trends and strategies shift and change constantly. To be able to evaluate them appropriately, the system of excellence standards also needs to be refined and improved all the time.

Yet, to understand the Japanese Deming Prize approach, one must be familiar with the country’s way of thinking and mentality. It is a well-known fact that the Japanese business culture is very different from the one popular in the West. The Japanese model of quality evaluation is more stable and does not need to be changed or improved regularly, while the focus and demands of other Quality Award programs keep altering every year, following the intense surroundings of the business arena.

The main issue with the BE model is the fact that it is not the key to financial success and business development. The article states that the competitive advantage of the organizations depends mainly on its infrastructure, this is why following and replicating the BE quality model is not enforced by stimuli.

Practical Implications

Using a comparative analysis of five different quality control programs, the article by Vokurka, Stading, and Brazeal informs its readers about the core criteria of the successful and qualified business of the present day. Knowing the main focuses of the programs designed for quality evaluation empowers the managers and provides them with an opportunity to introduce changes to their working process to make their business more successful and raise its quality.

The importance of customer focus goes without saying for most organizations, this criterion is obvious today and the majority of businesses carefully follow that it is properly fulfilled by improving their customer service, creating the programs of client loyalty, assigning bonuses for the most dedicated consumers, making their services more accessible. At the same time, the criterion of human resources is sometimes overlooked, although its importance should not be underestimated in the contemporary diverse society.

More and more organizations start to admit that a balanced workplace is crucial for the revenues, success, and reputation of the whole company, but employee rights violations and uncomfortable working conditions or lack of career support and development opportunities are not rare in the modern business world.

The leaders acquiring BE models must understand that these models are not direct instructions, but sets of beliefs, an organization is likely to benefit from the BE model only if the model lays deeply in the workers’ understanding of the work process.

Learning Reflections

The presentation of comparative analysis of various approaches to quality evaluation in the global business arena teaches me to comprehend the schematic and systematized data by my means of comparing various examples to each other and noting the differences and similarities. This allows the reader to identify the basic key elements of the evaluation process structure and see why certain criteria were given more importance than others. Comparative evaluation is a very important skill in any sphere of knowledge. Qualitative analysis of statistical data, generalization, and prioritization are the abilities stimulated by the suggested reading.

Reference List

Vokurka, R. J., Stading, G. L. & Brazeal, J. 2000, ‘A Comparative Analysis of National and Regional Quality Awards’, Quality Progress, vol. 3, no. 8, pp. 41-49.

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