In the contemporary business world, exemplary business processes determine the sustainability of different players in the diverse industries characterized by heightened competitiveness. The integration of business excellence models (BEM) has gained popularity over the past two decades as business organizations seek to attain their goals in the most efficient manner (Porter & Tanner 2012). The Baldrige Model, which is one of the widely used BEMs, fosters an understanding of the business aspects that facilitate the realization of desired results in a given organization.
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Mainly, the Baldrige Model focuses on leadership, strategic planning, marketing, human resources, process management, knowledge management, and business results (Evans et al. 2012). PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice (PwC PSP), which is a consultancy company in the US, integrates the Baldrige Model to foster its business excellence efforts. For this reason, this paper explores the effectiveness of the Baldrige BEM at PwC PSP.
Research Questions, Objectives, and Aims of the Study
The study attempts to answer various research questions that facilitate an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Baldrige BEM applied at PwC PSP. Thus, the undertaking centers on the following research questions.
- To what extent does the Baldrige BEM foster customer engagement?
- Is there a correlation between the Baldrige BEM and knowledge management?
- Does the integration of the Baldrige BEM lead to smart strategic planning?
- Is there a correlation between the application of the Baldrige BEM and the realization of a quality workforce?
As depicted by the research questions, the study purposes to meet several objectives and aims. In this concern, the effort would evaluate the effectiveness of the Baldrige BEM in facilitating effective customer relationships through engagement as a feature of business excellence. Furthermore, the report aims to establish the existing relationship between the Baldrige BEM and knowledge management, which is an essential aspect of business excellence.
Additionally, the inquiry aims to reveal the influence of the Baldrige BEM on the strategic planning endeavors of an organization. Moreover, the report purposes to highlight the essence of the said BEM in fostering the efficiency of an organization’s workforce. As such, the objectives of the study would reflect on the application of the Baldrige BEM in various business aspects of PwC PSP with respect to the attainment of its goals in the consultancy industry.
Established by the US government and officially known as the Malcolm Baldrige Award Model, various organizations in at least 25 countries have adopted this business excellence model (Blazey 2008). The Baldrige model underscores the relevance of incorporating systematic business processes for the acceleration of organizational improvement. In this respect, organizations find the various structures that entail leadership, strategic planning, customer management, knowledge management, workforce engagement, and operations focus as crucial for bolstering the success in their respective industries (Evans et al. 2012).
The Baldrige model fosters organizational sustainability through its leadership system. Notably, the leadership aspect facilitates business excellence since it upholds ethics in the governance of a given organization. As such, the ethical behavior of the leader enhances the engagement of the followers through effective communication, which is also an important element of the model’s leadership system. Additionally, the leadership aspect of the model underlines the vitality of ensuring smooth leadership transitions thus fostering steady succession processes (Porter & Tanner 2012).
The Baldrige model has gained popularity as an essential framework for effective strategic planning by providing an outline of key considerations for such undertakings (Blazey 2008). To comply with the Baldrige model, PwC PSP uses the “observe, orient, decide, and act” plan to streamline its strategic planning endeavors in a manner that focuses on operations, the workforce, customers, and profit (NIST: PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice 2015). Further, the BEM facilitates effective customer management by encouraging organizations to focus on customer-market segmentation, culture building, support, and satisfaction.
PwC PSP integrates the pursuit approach to enhance its communication with former, current, and potential clients to increase customer engagement. Besides, the Baldrige model helps organizations in establishing the reliability of data and information to improve the knowledge management aspects of business operations. In this concern, PwC PSP approaches the knowledge management issue through an innovative web-based tool to share and transfer knowledge after collecting data through its Knowledge Gateway (NIST: PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice 2015).
The workforce system of the Baldrige model enables firms to value the importance of recruiting, placing, and retaining the top talent to foster the effectiveness of human resources (Evans et al. 2012). In this light, the system allows HR managers to facilitate career progression through workplace environment improvement, capacity building, and performance management. Axiomatically, the operations management aspect of business excellence is bolstered by focusing on innovation, process control, and appropriate system design. As such, PwC PSP integrates a well-organized business continuity plan besides monitoring its overall operational costs to attain business excellence (NIST: PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice 2015).
The study on the efficiency of the Baldrige model integrated at PwC PSP applies a quantitative research methodology. In this case, the undertaking used a sample population comprising of managers at PwC PSP and the client organizations. To attain representativeness, the study embraced a non-probability selection approach through the snowball and expert sampling techniques. The data collection phase of the exercise administered surveys comprising closed-ended questions to capture relevant data concerning the compelling aspects of the Baldrige BE model. Additionally, data was obtained from the management information systems to identify the elements that portray business excellence in the consultancy firm.
The data obtained from the surveys and information systems were analyzed to assess the influence of the Baldrige model on the performance of PwC PSP. As such, the ANOVA tool facilitated the analysis of the data to describe the model’s implications for business excellence. The analysis depicted that the company attained a score of almost 100% between 2010 and 2014 based on the customer engagement aspect of its operations. Further, the analysis revealed that through customer engagement, the organization saw a 263% growth in contracts between 2007 and 2014.
For knowledge management, the results revealed that the Knowledge Gateway platform facilitated the collection of information that led to over 60 innovations that resulted in the signing of contracts worth $6.7 million in a 2014 Expo. The findings also revealed that by courtesy of the strategic planning system, the company realized a 546% revenue growth between 2005 and 2014. Moreover, the findings uncovered that PwC PSP attained a workforce turnover of 13% below the 20% average recorded in the consultancy industry.
The results acquired from the study show that the Baldrige model facilitates business excellence when its various systems are fully integrated into an organization. As seen in the case of PwC PSP, the model enhances customer engagement by upholding effective communication and ensuring satisfaction thereby improving relationships that resulted in big contracts. Additionally, the BEM underlines the essence of effective knowledge management practices since it fosters innovation triggered by a vast array of content acquired through the integration of tools like the Knowledge Gateway. As such, leaders could embrace knowledge management innovations to enhance the decision-making processes resulting in favorable outcomes.
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Furthermore, the incorporation of the BEM fosters impressive performance of an organization since it provides practical protocols for strategic planning (Evans et al. 2012). The model’s strategic planning aspects that include process control, process, and system design, and the integration of suppliers and partners bolster business growth as depicted by the impressive revenue gains recorded by PwC PSP between 2007 and 2014.
Moreover, the adoption of the Baldrige BEM fosters the effectiveness of human resources as the workforce system allows managers to recruit, place, and retain highly skilled professionals. Further, through the creation of an enabling workplace climate, the model facilitates the satisfaction of employees as noted by the reduced workforce turnover thereby enhancing their productivity.
PwC PSP could integrate more aspects of the Baldrige BEM in its business system to scale its excellence in the consultancy industry. In this concern, the knowledge management and workforce engagement features of the model should be reinforced. The company’s use of the web-based tool to acquire data regarding the clients’ dynamic needs could be vulnerable to security issues. Therefore, integrating an effective hardware and software reliability system would foster the safety of the database. Additionally, the workforce management feature of PwC PSP ought to consider the inclusion of a workforce engagement assessment tool to gauge the efficacy of the work processes. In so doing, the company would attain greater employee satisfaction, thus promoting its business excellence.
Blazey, M 2008, Insights to performance excellence 2008: An inside look at 2008 Baldrige award criteria, ASQ Quality Press, Milwaukee. Web.
Evans, J, Fordb, M, Mastersonc, S & Hertzd, H 2012, ‘Beyond performance excellence: research insights from Baldrige recipient feedback’, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol.23, no.5, pp. 489-506. Web.
NIST: PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice 2015. Web.
Porter, L & Tanner, S 2012, Assessing business excellence, Routledge, Oxford. Web.