Managing challenges in sustaining business excellence

Document Type

Journal Article


Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.


Faculty of Business and Law


Faculty Office (FBL)




This article was originally published as: Brown, A. R. (2013). Managing challenges in sustaining business excellence. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 30(4), 461-475. Original article available here


Purpose: This paper aims to identify important challenges to sustaining business excellence amongst award-winning companies in Australia. Design/methodology/approach: Companies which had won Australian Business Excellence Awards were chosen as cases for this research since they had used the excellence framework over many years and, having achieved significant results, now potentially faced issues in sustaining a high level of performance. Interviews with key managers, published materials and information provided during industry visits were used as the primary information sources in the study. Findings: Findings suggest that the primary challenges include; leadership support, drive and consistency throughout the organisation and communicating strategy and making it meaningful for people at all organisational levels. These were addressed in a variety of ways in the companies. Research limitations/implications: Companies which are successful at business excellence experience challenges which require ongoing management. Originality/value: This research offers insights into the difficulties faced by successful organisations in their quest to build and maintain excellence and how they manage these.