The European Framework for Quality Management (EFQM) first appeared on the radars of organizational managers and leaders in 1988 (Suarez, Roldan & Calvo-Mora 2014). It comprises several members of different organizations and other national, research, and educational institutions. On a bigger scale, the EFQM can be characterized as a practical instrument that can be utilized to evaluate the current state of business affairs and do whatever it takes to identify the existing weaknesses and mitigate them using the development of proper solutions. The first version of the EFQM has seen the public in 1992 (Sadeh, Arumugam & Malarvizhi 2013).
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This revision of the European Framework for Quality Management could be applied within the environment of large companies (both private and public) and local communities. This framework is recurrently used when it is necessary to perform self-assessment or benchmark organizational performance. It can also be utilized for the distribution of the best corporate practices intended to improve the quality of business (Hemsworth 2016). The specifics of the EFQM require the latter to be applied in all types of organizations (from both theoretical and practical points of view). It is also safe to say that the EFQM is characteristic of the majority of companies that are located in Europe and are looking forward to making the most out of the organizational excellence models (Gomez, Costa & Lorente 2015).
The EFQM is sometimes compared to ISO 9000, but several critical differences make the former stand out. Even though ISO standards have been around for a rather long time, this framework is functioning only based on a comprehensive certification that should be adhered to in a rather strict manner (Escrig & Menezes 2016). At the same time, the EFQM is based on the creative approach of the company that uses it and is not as restrictive as ISO 9000. The implementation of the EFQM is only possible in a free environment. The two concepts that define the European Framework for Quality Management are creativity and complexity (Chapman 2014).
The core objective of using the EFQM is to create an environment of continuous capital generation. There are key nine criteria that are used to develop and implement the EFQM Excellence Model. These nine criteria are divided into two categories – enabler and results criteria. The former is associated with how the organization engages in different activities while the latter is focused on the outcomes of these activities. One of the advantages (except its extensiveness) of the EFQM is that it is result-oriented (Calvo-Mora, Dominguez & Criado 2017).
In this case, customers are perceived as the key shareholders, and their satisfaction is the most important criteria when it comes to the assessment of corporate performance. The European Framework for Quality Management is also closely related to the concept of leadership as the main focus of this Excellence Model is on product quality and stakeholder partnerships (Bolboli & Reiche 2015). Sustainability, motivation, and strategic processes are also known as some of the key contributors to the successful implementation of the EFQM in practice. Due to the long-term nature of stakeholder-organization relationships, the clients are the key variable that impacts the organization’s competitiveness and contributes to innovativeness. The concept of social responsibility should also be taken into consideration due to the holistic basis of the EFQM (Calvo-Mora, Dominguez & Criado 2017).
To promote the corporate need for innovation and excellence promotion, the EFQM developers came up with a Scheme of the Levels of Excellence (Gomez, Costa & Lorente 2015). The rationale behind this particular scheme is that the organization has to extend the acknowledgment of achievements and adjust the EFQM in a way that will allow maximizing the number of corporations that are eligible for implementing the Excellence Model. The latter can also trigger critical organizational improvements and help the managers to collect independent feedback (that can be ultimately used to innovate and improve the existing corporate practices) (Suarez, Roldan & Calvo-Mora 2014).
One of the main criteria that are used within the framework of the EFQM Excellence Model is a percentage scale that can be different for any given organization. Commonly, the evaluation criteria are as follows: leadership, human resources, stakeholders, strategic vision, organizational processes, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, societal outcomes, and the overall level of performance. When dealing with the EFQM, it is also vital to make sure that adequate leadership practices are in place (Hemsworth 2016).
It should be stated that health management is one of the core contributors to organizational success. Within an EFQM environment, a top-down approach is used to make sure that there are role models that can be followed by others. Expanding on this topic, the EFQM is also interested in good working practices and the elaboration of a strategy that is based on effective leadership (Escrig & Menezes 2016). One of the factors that contribute to effective management and leadership is extensive organizational training. The advantage of the EFQM consists in the fact that it successfully outlines the skills and behaviors that should be inherent in a successful organizational team (Bolboli & Reiche 2015). Also, it allows recurrent check-ups that can help the management to assess management capabilities at all organizational levels (from individual to corporate).
Within the EFQM, employees are trained to use practical tools that were made available by the organization (Escrig & Menezes 2016). The core objective of the management is to make the most out of the human resources while being in line with the existing business strategy. The EFQM cannot be implemented if the leadership style is not consistent with the level of employee engagement. This is why it is important to make sure that the organizational practice adheres to the nine key criteria of the EFQM Excellence Model that were previously mentioned in the paper (Gomez, Costa & Lorente 2015). To apply the EFQM successfully, the organization will have to allocate its resources properly and validate customer satisfaction.
When implementing the EFQM in either public or private business environments, the main focus area should be the CSR. Here, the Excellence Model can be used to amalgamate the environmental, social, and financial variables and come up with a high-quality corporate strategy that can be used by any organization (Bolboli & Reiche 2015). The reason behind creating a link between the EFQM and CSR is that the integration of concerns inherent in both environmental and social contexts is critical for the innovations in the area of business operations. Also, the CSR will ensure that the customers will interact with the organization voluntarily.
The fact is, the company has to pay close attention to its economic growth, but it has to be watchful in terms of its societal impact as well. In both private and public business environments, the organization has to focus on sustainability and its standards (Suarez, Roldan & Calvo-Mora 2014).
The modern information technology can become a really helpful instrument in terms of the implementation of the EFQM. Nonetheless, the connection between information systems and the EFQM is still under-researched, so it is critical to make sure that the dimensions of information systems and the EFQM are consistent with each other (Calvo-Mora, Dominguez & Criado 2017).
One of the ways of implementing information technology is creating a structural model that can explain the impact of information flows and the relationships between the key EFQM criteria. The existing evidence validates the supposition that information technology is a rather valuable asset within the framework of the Excellence Model environment. The combination of information technology and the EFQM positively affect organizational culture and information flows (Chapman 2014). To conclude, the implementation of information technologies within the EFQM environment also enables TQM and impacts the information capability of the organization.
Bolboli, S & Reiche, M 2015, ‘Introducing a concept for efficient design of EFQM excellence model’, The TQM Journal, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 382-396.
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Calvo-Mora, A, Dominguez, M & Criado, F 2017, ‘Assessment and improvement of organisational social impact through the EFQM Excellence Model’, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 4, no. 11, pp. 1-20.
Chapman, R 2014, The rules of project risk management, Routledge, London.
Escrig, A & Menezes, L 2016, ‘What is the effect of size on the use of the EFQM excellence model?’, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36, no. 12, pp. 1800-1820.
Gomez, J, Costa, M & Lorente, A 2015, ‘EFQM Excellence Model and TQM: An empirical comparison’, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 88-103.
Hemsworth, D 2016, ‘An empirical assessment of the EFQM Excellence Model in purchasing’, International Business & Economics Research Journal, vol. 15, no. 4, p. 127.
Sadeh, E, Arumugam, V & Malarvizhi, C 2013, ‘Integration of EFQM framework and quality information systems’, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 188-209.
Suarez, E, Roldan, J & Calvo-Mora, A 2014, ‘A structural analysis of the EFQM model: An assessment of the mediating role of process management’, Journal of Business Economics and Management, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 862-885.