The implementation of the “EFQM Excellence Model” paving the way towards excellence

Riccardo Perini

Student thesis: Master thesis


The scope of this paper is to understand what the EFQM Excellence Model is and why it has more success than other strategic framework and also what benefits it brings from a managerial point of view. The paper starts with a description of the fundamentals that the model presents as the basis of the path towards excellence and how it is divided into two sections: the first one consists of five enablers and the second one consists of four results. Furthermore the model contains an explanation of how companies are evaluated through the Radar Logic which is a frame that sees two different ways of judgment respectively for the enablers and results section. Afterwards it goes through a theoretical part that seeks to explain what is known about the EFQM Excellence Model, what other researchers have found and how we can consider it part of Total Quality Management (TQM). In addition there is an insight about how excellence is born with a brief explanation of other approaches that are called Business Excellence Models (BEM). In particular the paper focused on the 4P Model, the MBNQA Model (very popular in USA) and the Deming Prize Model. The main characteristics and the main differences are analysed to figure out how TQM and BEM and then EFQM Excellence Model brought innovation in this field. Afterwards some personal considerations seek to explain the basics of TQM and EFQM highlighting some topics such as “quality and excellence” the difference between “to manage and to lead”, the meaning of “innovation” and how “ambidexterity” can be consider a benefit brought by this model. The paper goes through, afterwards, an analysis of secondary data telling some success stories of companies from different sectors that apply the EFQM Model and the benefits that it has brought to them. In particular the stories are about the Stravropool State Agrarian University in Russia, the Sanitas Hospitales in Spain, BMW in Regensburg (Germany), Nulifer Municipality in Turkey, the Glasgow Housing Association in Scotland and Ricoh in Belgium. Some primary data follow up with some interviews to four managers that work every day with the EFQM Model because they apply it inside the company they work for or because they work in management consulting groups. These interviews have the scope to present advantages and disadvantages of the model and how the model is generally perceived. The last chapter, in the end, is about a case study based on a four month experience at the Regional Service Center of Verona of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). After an explanation of what that particular section of GSK does, some interviews were carried out to the members that worked on the EFQM document submission 2015 once again to understand how the model is perceived and understood at the different management levels. The interviews, both for other companies’ managers and GSK managers and the leadership team consisted of 15 questions . For other companies’ managers the interviews were conducted by phone and for GSK people were conducted face to face. The interviews analysed personal perceptions, pros and cons, the interpretation of the fundamentals of excellence and the meaning of innovation. Furthermore the Governmental affairs director explains how GSK wants to found EFQM Italy: an association based on the same concepts of the EFQM that can involve all the Italian companies that apply EFQM Excellence Model building a successful and helpful network. The paper has been concluded answering the research question and so saying that the most important benefit of EFQM Excellence Model is the possibility that it helps managers to have a complete vision of the company, the chance of benchmarking with competitors or other sections of the same company and the opportunity to develop the daily job thanks to a framework which can be followed. At the same time the biggest limitation is that sometimes the model appears too complicated and difficult to interpret. As further development it has been suggested the activity of collaboration and more precisely of Co-creation between the companies and the European Foundatation for Quality Management to build some sub-models to eliminate the uncertainty due to the fact that the model is built for every kind of company. For example: GSK could build with EFQM a sub-model that can be the guide for every pharmaceutical company that wants to apply the EFQM Excellence Model. This aspect is very connected to the need-pull innovation concept explained in the last lines since it derives from a difficulty perceived by the interviewed managers.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages86