Since the early 1980s, benchmarking has been widely used as a strategy for organisations to make progress in their TQM maturity. Quality award models provide a comprehensive framework for the application and study of benchmarking. However, many of the studies are case‐based and anecdotal in nature. This study undertakes a benchmarking exercise among Singapore’s productivity leaders, which comprised the pioneer batch of organisations in the Singapore Quality Award programme. The secondary data obtained from these organisations are used for the analysis. The findings cover the best practice levels attained, strengths and weaknesses of the organisations, disparities in maturity of practices, areas with high priority for improvement, and association between TQM maturity and business performance. Policy‐wise, they suggest actions that should be taken to raise the TQM maturity of the organisations. They also provide a basis for comparisons in future studies, and for the further development of theoretical propositions.
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