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Investigating the role of EFQM enablers in innovation performance

Dimitrios Kafetzopoulos (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of the Aegean, Lemnos, Greece)
Katerina Gotzamani (Department of Business Administration, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 18 December 2018

Issue publication date: 12 March 2019



The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework to investigate how the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model enablers influence the four types (product, process, organizational and marketing) of innovation performance of a manufacturing firm.


The study uses survey data from a sample of 580 manufacturing firms in Greece and employs structural equation modeling to test the developed hypotheses.


The results reveal that enablers of the EFQM model are either directly or indirectly associated with the four types of innovation. Furthermore, the findings show that it is essential for a firm to manage all the facilitating enablers included in the EFQM model, since they cannot boost innovation when implemented in isolation.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is limited to one country (Greece). In addition, researchers have to assess the same relationships considering the effect of external factors such as environmental uncertainty. The potential consequences of enablers on innovation performance may be mediated by customer or people results.

Practical implications

The empirical findings of the present study help managers to develop the appropriate quality strategies and allocate the respective resources according to the desired type of innovation.


Based on the multi-dimensional structure of quality, this empirical study determines the contribution of EFQM model enablers to specific innovation performance dimensions of manufacturing companies.



Kafetzopoulos, D. and Gotzamani, K. (2019), "Investigating the role of EFQM enablers in innovation performance", The TQM Journal, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 239-256.



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