Research: 74 Countries And Regions Promote Business Excellence

Featured Article From the QMD Management Elements and Methods CMC
By Saad Ghafoor and Dr. Robin Mann

Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, September 2020.
Figure 1: The current EFQM Excellence Model[1]
Figure 2: The current Baldrige Excellence Framework[1]

The Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) recently updated its research on the number of active Business Excellence (BE) awards in the world. The previous research found that at least 55 countries had a national BE award. The new research revealed that 57 countries and 4 regions have active BE awards as of January 2021. In addition to these, 17 countries are running initiatives to encourage organisations on a BE journey. Therefore, in total 74 countries are promoting BE. Eligibility of an award to be considered as an active BE award
  1. Business Excellence awards were considered as “active” if:
    • they were based on a holistic BE framework and use similar assessment methods to internationally recognised frameworks such as the EFQM Excellence Model and the Baldrige Excellence Framework;
    • the award was run/held in 2018 or 2019 or planned for 2020 or 2021.
  2. What has changed since our previous research?
    • It was found that 6 of the countries that were found to have active BE awards in the previous (May 2018) research (based on the criteria that their award was held between 2016 and 2018 or was planned for 2018 or 2019), were found to not have active BE awards in the new research (based on the new criteria). These countries (Cuba, Nepal, Netherlands, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Wales), however, were found to have active BE initiatives and hence were moved to the list of countries with BE initiatives.
    • On the other hand, 8 countries (Bangladesh, Brunei, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Pakistan, and Russia) that were found to not have active BE awards in the previous research were found to have active BE awards in the new research.
    • A total of 74 countries (and/or regions) have a BE award or initiative, this number was 73 in the previous research.
A complete list of countries and BE custodians with active BE awards and initiatives and the BE models they use has been prepared by the authors and is available on the Business Performance Improvement Resource ( website.

The tables below show the countries/ regions with active BE awards or initiatives.
Number of Countries with Active BE Awards
1 Argentina 16 Egypt 31 Korea 46 Spain
2 Australia 17 El Salvador 32 Latvia 47 Sri Lanka
3 Austria 18 Fiji 33 Luxembourg 48 Sweden
4 Bangladesh 19 Finland 34 Malaysia – Sarawak 49 Switzerland
5 Belarus 20 France 35 Mexico 50 Taiwan
6 Bolivia 21 Germany 36 Morocco 51 Thailand
7 Brazil 22 Greece 37 Pakistan 52 Turkey
8 Brunei 23 India 38 Peru 53 United Arab Emirates
9 Canada 24 Indonesia 39 Philippines 54 United Kingdom
10 China – Hong Kong 25 Iran 40 Poland 55 United States of America
11 Colombia 26 Ireland 41 Portugal 56 Uruguay
12 Costa Rica 27 Israel 42 Russia 57 Vietnam
13 Czech Republic 28 Italy 43 Saudi Arabia
14 Denmark 29 Japan 44 Scotland
15 Ecuador 30 Jordan 45 Singapore
Regional BE Awards
1 Africa (Africa Excellence Award) 3 EFQM Excellence Award
2 Asia Pacific Quality Organisation 4 Iberoamerican Excellence Award (FUNDIBEC)
Number of Countries with BE Initiatives Only
1 Bahrain 7 Malta 13 Norway
2 Belgium 8 Mauritius 14 Serbia
3 Chile 9 Mongolia 15 Slovenia
4 Cuba 10 Nepal 16 Ukraine
5 Estonia 11 Netherlands 17 Wales
6 Kazakhstan 12 New Zealand

Popularity of BE Models and Frameworks

The following graph shows that the EFQM Excellence Model is the most popular with 26 BE awards using it. Another 5 BE awards use unique BE models that resemble the EFQM Excellence Model. The Baldrige Excellence Framework is used by 10 BE awards with another 11 using BE frameworks that resemble the Baldrige Excellence Framework. Fourteen BE awards use a unique BE model/ framework. Two BECs (Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Program of the UAE and Egypt) use the Government Excellence Model (GEM) and two (Dubai Government Excellence Programme and Abu Dhabi Award for Government Excellence) use unique models resembling the GEM.

Global study on BE

The research on BE awards is part of a larger research study titled Excellence Without Borders (EWB)[1] which was launched by COER in July 2018 and supported by the Global Excellence Model Council. This research is investigating the current state of and best practices in designing BE frameworks/ models and promoting, facilitating, awarding, supporting, and measuring BE on a national/ regional and sectoral level. Twenty-nine (29) BE custodians from 26 countries are participating in the study. A public release version of initial findings was provided in September 2019[2]. Further findings are being made available through a series of academic research papers.


It was found that 74 countries (37.5%) in the world and 4 international awards are promoting BE in the year 2020 compared to 73 countries and regions in the year 2018. However, the number of active awards has increased from 55 countries to 57 countries. The main challenge going forward is to make BE award programmes supporting BE more sustainable. Continuity in these programmes is central to increase BE awareness and adoption. The relevance of BE has become even more apparent to assist in the global recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic; organisations need to be resilient and agile which are two key components of BE.
News Quality Management Division 04/26/2021 7:06am CDT


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