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An in-depth review of the internal relationships of the EFQM model

Joaquín Gómez Gómez (Centro Europeo de Empresas e Innovación (CEEIM), Murcia, Spain)
Micaela Martínez Costa (Organización de Empresas y Finanzas, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain)
Angel R. Martínez Lorente (Economía de la Empresa, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Cartagena, Spain,)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 10 August 2015




The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model is widely used as a management tool in companies. Consequently, it is of great importance to understand the relationships within it, and inform managers about appropriate ways to manage events in order to get the desired results in general, and for specific interest groups (stakeholders). The paper aims to discuss these issues.


This paper analyzes the internal relationships of the EFQM model using empirical data from a sample of 199 Spanish companies. Four managers in each company were interviewed, to eliminate single respondent bias. Structural equation modeling is used for the analysis.


The results obtained from the empirical analysis provide evidence of an underlying logic in the EFQM model that does not match the official model. New significant relationships between the enablers and results not considered in the official model have been found.

Research limitations/implications

The study focusses on Spanish industrial companies with 50-500 workers and uses a cross-sectional design.

Practical implications

Managers should look at the EFQM model as a tool for finding their own way to excellence, but it is not a precise map, because the model may have some problems of definition. Managers should introduce its elements only after deep reflection on its benefit for their company.


Despite the previous research on this issue, there is still no clear consensus. Relationships that are not reflected in the theoretical model have been identified.



Financial support from Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Reference project ECO2008-02387) and Fundación CajaMurcia is gratefully acknowledged.


Gómez, J.G., Martínez Costa, M. and Martínez Lorente, A.R. (2015), "An in-depth review of the internal relationships of the EFQM model", The TQM Journal, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 486-502.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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