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Receiving a national quality award three times: Recognition of excellence in quality and performance

Paulo A. Cauchick Miguel (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 12 January 2015




In recent decades, a framework for management performance has proven to be an important management practice for achieving organisational performance excellence. In this sense, the purpose of this paper is to analyse how a specific company manages to achieve performance excellence through the attainment of the Brazilian National Quality Award.


The study adopts a case-based approach using a single unit of analysis that might be considered a revealing case. The company studied is one of the largest companies in the information and financial analysis sector in Latin America and is part of a major worldwide corporation. Semi-structured interviews with senior managers and document analysis were used for data collection, with content and inductive analysis performed a posteriori.


The main results outline the approach adopted by the company for each performance excellence award criterion and highlight some of the relevant organisational practices, especially those related to the nature of the company’s businesses. The findings show that the top management has been an essential driving force in transforming the managers at all levels into agents of improvement at the studied company. Additional key points are the deployment of the company’s “shared values” throughout the company and the implementation of a medium- and long-term comprehensive strategic plan focused on the award criteria. The company’s strategic system has been a driving force of its success.

Research limitations/implications

For a more extensive empirical validation, further replications using other samples are needed to ensure the external validity of these findings.


This paper is one of the few published studies discussing business excellence in emerging economies, which is not observed very often in developing markets. In addition, the paper focuses on promoting a culture of quality, a less common phenomenon in the economies of developing countries than in those of developed nations. Finally, this paper may be useful for practitioners and academics interested in the subject of quality and performance excellence.



The author would like to thank all those who contributed to carrying out this study, especially the studied company. Nevertheless, this paper only reflects the view of the author, and not the official view of the organization. The financial support provided by CNPq (Brazilian National Research Council) through grant 472342/2004-5 is gratefully acknowledged (Edital Universal 2004 and 2010). Finally, the author is also grateful to the reviewers of TQM Journal for their useful comments and recommendations to enhance the manuscript as well as the company that made the English editing.


Cauchick Miguel, P.A. (2015), "Receiving a national quality award three times: Recognition of excellence in quality and performance", The TQM Journal, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 63-78.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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