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Title: An investigation on how business excellence models contribute to support the strategic planning process in organizations
Author: Rocha Lona, Luis
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2007
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Quality management initiatives (QMIs) and business strategies have played a major role in supporting organizations' business improvements. Despite extensive research, the relationship between QMIs and business strategy has not been properly comprehended. Consequently, there is little research and documentation of their use at this levels and it is evident the paucity of methods to effectively integrate QMIs into strategic planning and business improvements. This thesis is concerned with an exploratory study about the use of business excellence models (BEMs) and their application to support the strategic planning process. Accounts in the literature suggest that BEMs contribute to identify areas of improvements at operational levels after conducting self-assessments. On the other hand, despite the claims of their use to support business strategy, their contribution has been regarded as a blurred application. As a result, some critics have questioned not only the real benefit at business strategy levels, but also their validity at operational levels. This thesis examines fifth research issues: first, how BEMs pragmatically contribute to support strategic planning; second, what model criteria and in what strategic planning stages models have a real influence; third, at what levels of strategy the BEMs have been more effectively applied, fourth, what has been the evolution of BEMs and how it has allow them to play several roles in the organizational context, and fifth what have been some of the barriers to deploy the EFQM model. To accomplish this, the research method includes extensive literature reviews and an empirical investigation consisting of two surveys with European organizations that use the EFQM model. The research findings suggest that BEMs contribute to strategic planning contrary to some accounts in the literature. The research shows the benefit of encouraging organizations to conduct benchmarking and using internal business information for strategic analysis. The findings also reveal the application of the model to set strategic plans and objectives based on self-assessments outcomes. Similarly, it was found a strong application to monitor business results and consequently, to evaluate or modify strategies. In addition, it was found that models are used at business strategy levels, and they are strategic regardless the organizational level in which they are deployed. The investigation also reveals how models have evolved, and the little changes undertaken in the criteria from managers' perspectives. This research concludes that BEMs have evolved enough to significantly contribute to strategic planning, and to be a valuable source of internal business information. Some theoretical and practical implications are drawn for model users and quality management foundations. The need for further research in developing a knowledge-based framework to integrate the EFQM model into strategic planning and business improvements is pointed out. Finally, the managing and modelling of information to support strategic planning is a key emerging issue to consider for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available