Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


University of Wollongong. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering


The aim of the study was to find whether quantitative evidence exists to link the Australian Business Excellence Framework (ABEF) with business outcomes. Improvements in the top key performance indicators (KPIs) of 22 manufacturers are considered against their A B E F evaluation scores.

The Results

1.The findings show a direct link between performance in the Awards and annual improvements in bottom line results. Organisations achieving high A B E F scores were found to belong to that group of firms with the highest performance across a wide range of indicators, including financial results and productivity. This also manifests itself in profitability measures.

2.Every percent of improvement in the A B E F score is associated with an approximate 2 % increase in the average annual KPI improvement. Multiple-award-entering companies have received even stronger relationships (ca. 4%) than those which participated only once.

3.Higher-scoring organisations have been more successful in achieving positive improvements in their business results from year to year.

4. Management aspects such as 'senior executive leadership', 'analysis and use of data and information', 'measures of success' and 'planning processes' were found to be of particular importance.

5. Simple equations were developed which organisations can use to focus their improvement efforts, and benchmark their benefits from applying the ABEF.

The Methodology

This research, based on rigorous principles, involved 22 manufacturing companies across a range of 13 different industry sectors with sizes ranging from 25 to over 2000 employees. All companies had participated in the Australian Quality Awards for Business Excellence between 1992 and 1997, some more than once, but not all were winners. This group includes data from a wide array of low and high performing organisations with respect to both A B E F evaluation results and KPIs. The Award scores were correlated with the same organisations' past business results. Nearly 1000 numerical, longitudinal and factual business performance measurements were taken, including typical bottomline measures such as profitability, sales, costs and productivity with an overall emphasis on financial results.

In conclusion it can be said that an organisation's success is clearly linked to the effectiveness of its management practices, as reflected in the A B E F evaluation results.

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