What is the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA)?
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) is an award established by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to raise awareness of quality management and recognize U.S. companies that have implemented successful quality management systems. The award is the nation's highest presidential honor for performance excellence.
Three MBNQA awards can be given annually in six categories:
- Service Company
- Small Business
The education and healthcare categories were added in 1999, while the government and non-profit categories were added in 2007.
The MBNQA award is named after the late Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, a proponent of quality management. The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the award, and ASQ administers it.
Free Baldrige Resources
The Seven Baldrige Award Criteria Categories
Organizations that apply for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award are judged by an independent board of examiners. Recipients are selected based on achievement and improvement in seven areas, known as the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence:
- Leadership: How upper management leads the organization, and how the organization leads within the community.
- Strategy: How the organization establishes and plans to implement strategic directions.
- Customers: How the organization builds and maintains strong, lasting relationships with customers.
- Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management: How the organization uses data to support key processes and manage performance.
- Workforce: How the organization empowers and involves its workforce.
- Operations: How the organization designs, manages and improves key processes.
- Results: How the organization performs in terms of customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, and how the organization compares to its competitors.
The 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework is available for the business/nonprofit, healthcare, and education industries. The criteria focuses on managing all components of an organization as a whole, cybersecurity risks, and understanding the role of risk management within a systems perspective of organizational performance management.
Malcolm Baldrige Award Case Studies
ASQ’s case study collection offers insight into the Baldrige journeys of organizations in healthcare, education, services, and more.
Aligning, Improving Key Measures Net Texas Healthcare Organization Baldrige Honor
10-Year Quality Journey Leads to Baldrige Honor for Wisconsin School District
Journey to Perfect: Mayo Clinic and the Path to Quality
Critical Success Factors Lead to Second Baldrige Award
Solid Commitment to People Is Main Ingredient for Texas Restaurant Excellence
Former Baldrige Recipient Rekindles Its Quality Fire
What’s Your Story?
Malcolm Baldrige Books
- Road Map for the Baldrige Journey
- Journey to Excellence: How Baldrige Health Care Leaders Succeed
- The Pocket Guide to the Baldrige Award Criteria - 16th Edition
Malcolm Baldrige Award Articles
- Insights from the Baldrige Award Item-Level Blinded Applicant Scoring Data, Quality Management Journal
- Management System Design for Sustainable Excellence, Quality Management Journal
- The Impact of Baldrige on Organizational Performance, Journal for Quality and Participation (ASQ member exclusive content)
- CEO Attitudes and Motivations: Are They Different for High-Performing Organizations? Quality Management Journal
- Avoid Random Acts of Improvement With Baldrige, Quality Progress
- Danger Zones, Quality Progress
- Beginning the Journey Towards Baldrige, Journal for Quality and Participation