2011 | 44 | 5 | 153-165
Article title

The Steps of Slovenian Organisations on the Way to Business Excellence

Title variants
Languages of publication
This research was carried out among the winners of the Slovenian business excellence prize (PRSPO), finalists and those who received special diplomas as a recognition level reached by applicants in implementing the business excellence model. Based on the findings of the research, we defined eight steps that organizations can consider as a guide on the path towards excellence.The purpose of the study was to examine how the previous winners of the PRSPO began their journey towards excellence, which were the key factors, what problems they encountered and how they managed to win the diploma or award.The analysis of the survey showed that the ISO 9001 standard is considered a first step towards the Slovenian business excellence award - in fact, it is a prerequisite for further improvements in the organization. The second step involves top management commitment and support for the introduction of excellence into business processes. The top management, in cooperation with all the employees, defines the areas for improvement and also confirms the method of implementation, both conceptually and financially. It is also necessary to take environmental aspects into consideration, which is provided by a third step along with the introduction of the ISO 14001. Once an organization defines the processes, it begins to introduce the business excellence model in the fourth step and carries out the self-assessment process. The key opportunities for improvement identified by the self-assessment process are further introduced in the business. In doing so, the organization can use various quality management approaches (the fifth step) and the first application for the PRSPO. In the sixth step, the organization encourages its employees to follow continuous education and innovation and, in the seventh step, participates again in the competition for the Slovenian business excellence award. As the required business excellence level is achieved, the organization receives the award for business excellence (PRSPO).
Physical description
  • Faculty of Organisational Sciences, University of Maribor, Kidričeva 55a, Kranj, Slovenia
  • Obnova trgovina d.o.o., Tržaška cesta 409, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Adebanjo. D. 2001. TQM and business excellence: is there really a conflict?, Measuring Business Excellence, 5(3): 37-40, DOI: 10.1108/13683040110403961[Crossref]
  • Angell, C. L. & Corbett, L., M. (2009). The quest for business excellence: evidence from New Zealand's award winners, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 29 (2): 170-199, DOI: 10.1108/01443570910932048[Crossref]
  • Ammenberg, J. (2001). How do standardised environmental management systems affect environmental performance and business?, Licentiate Thesis No.907, Department of Physics and Measurement Technology, Linköping Universitet, Linköping.
  • Bou-Llusar C.J., Escrig-Tena, A.B., Roca-Puig, V. & Beltran-Martin, I. (2009). An empirical assessment of the EFQM Excellence Model: Evaluation as a TQM framework relative to the MBNQA Model, Journal of Operations Management, 27(1): 1-22, DOI:10.1016/J.JOM.2008.04.001[Crossref]
  • Boulter, L. Bendell, A., Abas, H., Dahlgaard, J.J. & Singhal, V. (2005). Report on EFQM and BQF Funded study into the Impact of the Effective Implementation of Organisational Excellence Strategies on Key Performance Results. Published by EFQM and BQF. Retreived from
  • Boys, K., Karapetrovic, S. & Wilcock, A. (2004). Is ISO 9004 a path to business excellence? Opinion of Canadian standards experts, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 21(8): 841-860, DOI: 10.1108/02656710410551737[Crossref]
  • Busteed, K. & Vogel, N. (2000) Achieving Business Excellence, A study How Australian Organizations Approach Business Improvement, Australian Quality Council and Delloite Touche Tohmatsu
  • Chavan, M. (2005). An appraisal of environment management systems: a competitive advantage for small businesses, Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, 16(5): 444-3. DOI: 10.1108/14777830510614321[Crossref]
  • Christensen, P. & Rasmussen, B.D. (1998). Implementation of environmental management in the Danish printing house industry, Eco-Management and Auditing, 5(2): 88-94. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0925(199807)[Crossref]
  • Conti, T. (1999). Samoocenjevanje družb (Self-assesement of organisations), DZS, Ljubljana.
  • Corbett, C.J. & Klassen, R.D. (2006). Extending the horizons: environmental excellence as key to improving operations, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 8(1): 5-22. DOI: 10.1287/msom.1060.0095[Crossref]
  • Coté R., Booth, A. & Louis, B. (2006). Eco-efficiency and SMEs in Nova Scotia, Canada, Journal of Cleaner Production, 14: 542-50., DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.07.004[Crossref]
  • Crosby, P. B. (1988). The Eternally Successful Organization, The Art of Corporate Wellness, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
  • Hilton, M. (2001). Design for Sustainable Development. Success Factors. Dublin: European foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions
  • International Organization for Standardization and International Accreditation Forum (2009). ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group, [
  • EFQM (2003). EFQM Excellence Model, Brussels, EFQM, Belgium.
  • EFQM (1999). Excellence Model, Brussels, EFQM, Belgium.
  • Ehrenfeld, J. & Lenox, M. (1997). The Development and Implementation of DfE Programmes, Journal of Sustainable Product Design, 1: 17-27.
  • Escanciano, C., Fernandez, E. & Vazquez, C. (2001). ISO 9000 certification and quality management in Spain: results of a national survey, The TQM Magazine, 13 (3): 192-200. DOI: 10.1108/09544780110385500[Crossref]
  • Eskildsen, J.K. & Dalghaard, J. J. (2000). A Causal Model for Employee Satisfaction, Total Quality Management, 11(8): 1081-1094. DOI: 10.1080/095441200440340[Crossref]
  • Frei, M. (1998). Eco-effective product design: the contribution of environmental management in designing sustainable products, Journal of Sustainable Product Design, 7: 16-25.
  • Gomišček, B. & Grašič, K. (2007). Upoštevanje mnenja kupcev pri načrtovanju okolju prijaznih proizvodov (Considering customer opinion in environmentally friendly product design). V: Rajkovič, V. Kern, T. Kljajić, M., Leskovar, R., Mayer, J., Vukovič, G. (eds.). Ustvarjalna organizacija: zbornik 26. mednarodne konference o razvoju organizacijskih znanosti, Slovenija, Portorož, 28.-30. marec 2007, Kranj: Moderna organizacija, 496-506.
  • Gotzamani, K.D. & Tsiotras, G.D. (2001). An empirical study of the ISO 9000 standards' contribution towards total quality management, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 21(10): 1326-42. DOI: 10.1108/EUM0000000005972[Crossref]
  • Gotzamani, K.D. & Tsiotras, G.D. (2002). The true motives behind ISO 9000 certification: their effect on the overall certification benefits and long-term contribution towards TQM, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 19 (2): 151-69. DOI: 10.1108/02656710210413499[Crossref]
  • Hausner, A. & Vogel, N. (2007). Linking Bottomline Improvements With The Australian Business Excellence Framework, Compendium Of Best Practice Case Studies In Asia Volume III - A Publication Of The APO Best Practice Network., Asian Productivity Organization, 60-77.
  • Hiam, A. (1999). Motivating & Rewarding Employees, New And Better Ways to Inspire Your People, Adams Media Corporation, Massachusetts.
  • Hongyi, S. (2000). Total quality management, ISO 9000 certification and performance improvement, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 17 (2):168-79. DOI: 10.1108/02656710010304573[Crossref]
  • Ishikawa, K. (1985). What is Total Quality Control? The Japanese Way, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.
  • Johnson, S., (2004). Applying (Total) Quality Models, How to improve processes without creating extra bureaucracy, EUPAN-European public Administration Network.
  • Juran, J., M. (1970). Quality Planning and Analysis, From Product Development through Usage, Mc-Graw Hill Book Company, New York.
  • Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (2000). Uravnoteženi sistem kazalnikov, [The Balanced Scorecard]: preoblikovanje strategije v dejanja, Gospodarski vestnik, Ljubljana.
  • Karapetrovic, S. & Wilborn, W. (2001). Audit and self-assessment in quality management: comparison and compatibility, Managerial Auditing Journal, 16(6): 366-377. DOI: 10.1108/02686900110395505[Crossref]
  • Keldmann, T. & Olesen, J. (1994). Conditions for Handling the Environmental Issue as a Business Issue in Product Development. Journal of Environmentally Conscious Design & Manufacturing, 3 (1): 35-44.
  • Kirkpatrick, D. & Pouliot, C. (1996). Environmental management: ISO offers multiple rewards, Pollution Engineering, 28(6): 62 - 5.
  • Link, S. & Naveh, E. (2006). Standardization and discretion: does the environmental standard ISO 14001 lead to performance benefits?, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 53(4): 508-19. DOI: 10.1109/TEM.2006.883704[Crossref]
  • Mann, R. & Saunders, M. (2005) Self-Assessment in a Multi-Organistional Network, International Journal of Quality & Relability Management, 22 (6): 554-571. DOI: 10.1108/02656710510604881[Crossref]
  • Marolt, J. & Gomišček, B. (2005). Management kakovosti (Quality Management), Moderna organizacija, Kranj.
  • Mayer, J. (2006). Človek v delovnem procesu (Working Person in Working Process), University of Maribor, Faculty of organizational Science.
  • Meers, A. & Samson, D. (2003). Business excellence initiatives: dependencies along the implementation path, Measuring Business Excellence, 7(2): 66-77. DOI: 10.1108/13683040310478002[Crossref]
  • MIRS (2007). Model odličnosti EFQM (EFQM Excellence Model). Ministrstvo za šolstvo, znanost in šport, Urad RS za meroslovje, Ljubljana.
  • Mønsted, M. & Føns, T. (2002). A comparative assessment of the EFQM Excellence model and the ISO 9001:2000, Aarhus School of Business.
  • Miles, M.P. & Munilla, L.S. (1995). The eco-marketing orientation: an emerging business philosophy. V Polonsky, M.J. in Mintu-Wimsatt, A.T. (Eds), Environmental Marketing: Strategies, Practice, Theory, and Research, Haworth Press, New York, NY, 3-20.
  • Pervaiz, K.A. (1998). Benchmarking Innovation Best Practice, Benchmarking for Quality Management & Technology, 5(1): 45-58. DOI: 10.1108/14635779810206803.[Crossref]
  • Peters, T. J. & Waterman, R. H. (1982). In Search of Excellence, Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies, Harper & Row, Publishers Inc., New York.
  • Petroni, A. (2000). The analysis of customer satisfaction-related elements of ISO 14000 implementation: evidence from the food machinery industry, Eco-Management and Auditing, 7(1): 1-10. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0925(200003)[Crossref]
  • Phelps, R. (2008). Managing People in a Changing World, Key Trends in Human Capital, A global Perspective 2008, Human resources Services, PxC Saratoga, Connected Thinking, Reporting Survey, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, Retreived, from
  • Pibernik, A. (2008). Ključne dejavnosti na poti do priznanja Republike Slovenije za poslovno odličnost (Key Activities on the Way to Business Excellence Award of Republic of Slovenia), diploma assignment, University of Maribor, Faculty of organizational Science, available from
  • Poksinska, B., Dahlgaard, J. J. & Eklund, J.A.E. (2003). Implementing ISO 14000 in Sweden: motives, benefits and comparisons with ISO 9000, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 20 (5): 585-606. DOI: 10.1108/02656710310476543[Crossref]
  • Porter, L. J. & Tanner, S., J. (2004). Assessing Business Excellence, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
  • Pouliot, C. (1996). ISO 14000: Beyond compliance to competitiveness, Manufacturing Engineering, 116(5): 51 - 6.
  • Pujari, D. & Wright, G. (1999). Management of Environmental New Product Development. V: Charter, M., Polonsky, M. (eds.) Greener Marketing - A Global Perspective on Greener Marketing Practice. Greenleaf Publishing Ltd., Sheffield, 109-125.
  • Pun, K.F., Chin, K.S. & Lau, H. (1999). A self-assessed quality management system based on integration of MBNQA/ISO9000/ISO14000, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 16(6): 606-29. DOI: 10.1108/02656719910268206[Crossref]
  • PWHC 1 (2000). PriceWaterHouseCoopers, Report on the Evaluation of the Public Sector Excellence Programme, Survey Results.
  • Robinson, A. & Schroeder, D.M. (2004). Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations, Berret-Koehler Publishers, Inc., San Francisco.
  • Rondinelli, D. & Vastag, G. (2000). Panacea, commonsense, or justalabel? The value of ISO 14001 environmental management systems, European Management Journal, 18(5): 499-510. DOI: 10.1016/S0263-2373(00)00039-6[Crossref]
  • Rusjan, B. (2005). Usefulness of the EFQM Excellence Model: Theoretical Explanation of Some Conceptual and Methodological Issues, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 16(3): 363-380. DOI: 10.1080/14783360500053972[Crossref]
  • Ritzén, S. (2000). Integrating Environmental Aspects into Product Development - Proactive Measures, PhD Thesis, Department of Machine Design, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
  • Russell, S. (2000). ISO 9000:2000 and the EFQM Excellence model: competition or co.-operation, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 11(4&6): 657-665. DOI: 10.1080/09544120050008039.[Crossref]
  • Samson, D. & Challis, D. (2002). Patterns of business excellence, Measuring Business Excellence, 6(2):15-21. DOI10.1108/13683040210431428[Crossref]
  • Sebhatu, S.P. & Enquist, B. (2007). ISO 14001 as a driving force for sustainable development and value creation, The TQM Magazine, 19 (5). DOI: 10.1108/09544780710817883[Crossref]
  • Shelton, R. (1995). Organising for Successful DFE: Lessons from Winners and Losers. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, Orlando, 1-4. DOI: 10.1109/ISEE.1995.514938[Crossref]
  • Singhal, V. R. (2004). The Impact of TQM on Financial Performance: Evidence From Quality Award Winners, The 4th International Conference of the Central and Eastern European Countries, Metrology Institute, Bled November 30, Slovenia
  • Skubic, I. & Kern Pipan, K. (2005). Priznanje Republike Slovenije za poslovno odličnost in evropska nagrada za kakovost [Slovenian business excellence prize and European award for quality], 17. Forum odličnosti in mojstrstva, Zbornik prispevkov, Društvo ekonomistov Dolenjske in Bele krajine, Otočec.
  • Stevens, J. (ed.) (2005). Managing Risk: The Human Resources Contribution, LexisNexis, Butterworths, London.
  • Tutuncu, O, & Kucukusta, D. (2007). Relationship between Organizational Commitment and EFQM Business Excellence Model: A Study on Turkish Quality Award Winners, Total Quality Management, 18 (10): 1083-1096. DOI: 10.1080/14783360701594709[Crossref]
  • Van der Wiele, A., Dale, B. G. & Wiliams A.R.T. (2000). ISO 9000 Series and Excellence Models: Fad to Fashion to Fit, Journal of General Management, 25(3): 50-66.
  • Van der Wiele, T., Dale, B.G. & Williams, A.R.T. (2000a). Business improvement through quality management systems, Management Decision, 38(1): 19-23. DOI: 10.1108/00251740010311799[Crossref]
  • Van der Wiele, A., Dale, B.G. & Williams, A.R.T. (2000b). ISO 9000 series registration to business excellence: the migratory path, Business Process Management Journal, 6(5): 417-427. DOI: 10.1108/14637150010353911
  • Wilcock, A., Karapetrovic, S., Boys, K. & Piche, P. (2006). Use of ISO 9004:2000 and other business excellence tools in Canada, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 23(7): 828-846. DOI: 10.1108/02656710610679833[Crossref]
  • Zucceli, F. & Di Zanni, A. (1999). Successful Approaches to the »Management of Innovation«, Good Practice Report, EFQM Benchmarking Services, Brussels, EFQM, Belgija.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.