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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

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The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established in 1988 by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology, and named for Malcolm Baldrige, former secretary of commerce, for the purpose of recognizing and promoting outstanding corporate efforts to improve quality and productivity. The Baldrige award guidelines are sometimes used as a checklist or framework for developing and implementing a plan for total quality or, for assessing organizational progress toward total quality.

Some concerns and criticisms of the award include: a) it creates winners and losers by being limited to one company in each category, b) apparent emphasis on results over methods, c) insistence on "benchmarking" without accompanying instruction and cautionary information on the inherent risks in that practice.

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