Department of Business Development and Technology

Rick Edgeman

Excellence models as complex management systems: An examination of the Shingo operational excellence model

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Purpose: When appropriately implemented, excellence models such as the Shingo operational excellence model (SOEM), Baldrige performance excellence model and EFQM business excellence model aid enterprise quests for sustained superior results across varied dimensions. Evidence supporting this statement abounds in the literature and in practice. The models, however, tend to be driven by experience, rather than grounded in theory. The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretical underpinnings for such models, with the SOEM used for illustrative purposes. Design/methodology/approach: Management theory, systems theory and excellence modeling are integrated to yield a complex management systems based operational excellence model. Correspondence of this model with the SOEM is explored. Key elements considered include contextual factors external to the enterprise, diverse stakeholders, mediating forces, enterprise culture and representative enterprise processes. Findings: Understanding the theoretical underpinnings of excellence models—their elements and the interactions and synergies of these elements—enables more sure adaptation of such models to specific enterprise contexts, and more sure course corrections whenever corrections are needed. Originality/value: Many excellence models exist, their usefulness largely validated by anecdotal or empirical evidence. Such validation is important, but falls short of theoretically grounding these models. The approach taken herein serves to unify theory, empirical evidence and anecdotes, thus placing excellence models on more solid ground.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Process Management Journal
Pages (from-to)1321-1338
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2018

    Research areas

  • Complex systems, Continuous improvement, Systems thinking

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