An EFQM‐Rembrandt excellence model based on the theory of displaced ideal

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Purpose: This paper aims to propose a new benchmarking framework that uses a series of existing intuitive and analytical methods to systematically capture both objective data and subjective beliefs and preferences from a group of decision makers (DMs).

Design/methodology/approach: The proposed framework combines the excellence model developed by the European Foundation for Quality Management with the Rembrandt method, the entropy concept, the weighted‐sum approach, and the theory of the displaced ideal. Hard data and personal judgments are synthesized to evaluate a set of business units (BUs) with two overall performance scores plotted in a four quadrant model.

Findings: The two performance scores are used to benchmark the performance of the BUs in accordance with their Euclidean distance from the “ideal” BU. Quadrants are used to classify the BUs as efficacious, productive ineffectual, proficient unproductive, and inefficacious. The efficacious BUs, referred to as “excellent”, fall in the competency zone and have the shortest Euclidean distance from the ideal BU relative to their peers.

Originality/value: The benchmarking framework presented in this study has some obvious attractive features. First, the generic nature of the framework allows for the subjective and objective evaluation of a finite number of BUs by a group of DMs. Second, the information requirements of the framework are stratified hierarchically allowing DMs to focus on a small area of the large problem. Third, the framework does not dispel subjectivity; it calibrates the subjective weights with the objective weights determined through the entropy concept.




Tavana, M., Karbassi Yazdi, A., Shiri, M. and Rappaport, J. (2011) ‘An EFQM-REMBRANDT Excellence Model Based on the Theory of Displaced Ideal,’ Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 18, No. 5, pp. 644-667.