The excellence quest: a study of business excellence award-winning organizations in UAE
Purpose: Organizations worldwide use national quality awards for improving organizational excellence. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched its business excellence awards for the private and public sectors almost two decades ago. Within the past dozen years, UAE companies have made considerable progress in introducing and developing their quality management systems. The purpose of this paper is to report the advance of UAE organizations in business excellence initiatives and highlight the contributions of the award-winning organizations in adopting business excellence approach. Design/methodology/approach: This research used a qualitative approach to study award-winning organizations. Initially, secondary data were gathered from the Office of Department of Economic Development which is responsible for the administration of the Dubai Quality Award (DQA). Data were entered and categorized according to the description of organizational practice, company name, industrial sector and DQA criteria. The data were then analyzed using NVivo 10.0 software. Findings: The DQA fosters and guides the excellence journey of aspiring organizations not only to win a quality award, but to strengthen their quality initiative through an informative assessment report. The DQA model was perceived by all organizations as a useful approach to quality improvement. Winning organizations have exhibited unique programs developed to embrace the DQA factors. Recommendations for aspiring organizations are discussed. Originality/value: This paper should help managers to plan their journey toward business excellence and to create greater awareness of excellence frameworks and their usefulness when embarking on the path of excellence. This paper adds to the knowledge of the UAE¿s excellence awards scheme and to the knowledge of business excellence best practices deep rooted in multi-cultural organizational environments. It highlights future research avenues for excellence frameworks.