Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Industrial and Systems Engineering and Engineering Management

Committee Chair

Sampson Gholston

Committee Member

Nicholas Loyd

Committee Member

Sherri Messimer

Committee Member

Eric Sholes

Committee Member

L. Dale Thomas


Organizational effectiveness--Evaluation, Organization effectiveness--Measurement, Performance awards--Standards, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award


Over the 30+ years of its existence, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (originally known as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program) has sought to define the basis for high performing organizations. The Baldrige framework has evolved since its inception in 1988. The purpose of this study was to empirically assess the existing Baldrige framework to determine its validity in context of its continuing evolution (Research Objective 1). Specifically, this research attempted to empirically validate the causal relationships suggested by the framework (Research Objective 2) and determine which criteria items are more important (Research Objective 3). The use of recent, actual scoring data addressed a hole in the existing research literature. The model chosen was firmly established in the research literature and provided a basis of comparison with previous research. This research represents a contribution to the research literature with several theoretical implications. An empirical assessment of the Baldrige framework was conducted utilizing Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling. This research provided strong support that the Baldrige framework is still valid and relevant today in context of its continuing evolution. Although the analysis conducted found strong support that the Baldrige framework is still relevant through structural equation modeling, the path coefficients suggest that how the components relate to each other may have evolved. Seven of the path coefficients were found to not be statistically significant suggesting that the relationships between categories that these path coefficients represent may not be adequately or accurately defined by the model. The results of this research confirm the continued usefulness of the Baldrige framework to drive organizational performance through confirmation of the causal relationships between the Baldrige categories and the Results category. This research also confirms the continued importance of both Leadership and Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management as the cornerstones of the Baldrige framework.



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