The recognition of the successes obtained by organizations using the total quality management (TQM) approach has been made historically through quality awards. The validity and applicability of the criteria used in such evaluations as well as the consistent impartiality of the adjudication processes are what determine whether such recognitions are meaningful or mere token awards made in the name of quality. The major internationally recognized quality awards of the European Community, Japan, the USA and Canada use evaluation criteria which are similar in nature. The common aim is to publicize organizational excellence achieved through TQM and to provide worthy examples for other enterprises to follow.
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