Making the Business Case for Improvement

Consider these two questions:

  • Does quality improve pay?
  • Is there a long-term alternative to quality improvement that will provide better results?

If clear, understandable, and supportable arguments supported an answer of "yes" to the first question and "no" to the second question, modern approaches to improving quality and value would be spreading at a faster rate among companies, industries, and countries.

Recently, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), formerly the Bureau of Standards, released an important report. This report concluded that the stock of the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award Winners from 1988 – 1997 produced 2.5 times the return on investment as did the S&P 500, a measure of overall performance of the US stock market. If leaders of publicly held companies believed this report, why would they not use the award criteria as a guide for running their company and apply for the award. If business school professors believed the report, why would they not make the award criteria an integral part of the curriculum?

Click each item to see the types of questions addressed in this effort:

  • Setting the context (link)
  • Methods (link)
  • Leadership (link)