35 years of excellence, and perspectives ahead for excellence 4.0

André M. Carvalho, Paulo Sampaio, Eric Rebentisch, Pedro Saraiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


About 35 years ago, the word ‘excellence’ entered the business lexicon, quickly making its way into the quality community. Today, excellence has proved to be a valid quality initiative by promoting performance improvements in organisations across the world. But in the face of new industrial paradigms, it also faces challenges - some novel and disruptive; some old and with renewed strength. While in many areas, including the field of quality, discussions regarding the future are common, in the specific case of excellence these have been rare. The driver behind this work is to understand the current state and the future challenges of excellence, supporting these perspectives in a broad literature review covering its history. The results highlight the achievements of excellence, its limitations and challenges, and the key concepts that need addressing in the scope of dealing with the industrial models of the future. Altogether, it looks at the relationships between excellence and other quality initiatives, and identifies opportunities for improvement. By covering the history of excellence, and identifying solutions that can be adapted and integrated in its scope, we hope to present our contributions for sparking discussion and help the development of a robust excellence approach for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1248
Number of pages34
JournalTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
Issue number11-12
Early online date18 Nov 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Nov 2019


  • excellence
  • industry 4.0
  • quality
  • total quality management


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