Foundations of Competitive Strength Report

  • The Researcher: Professor Vinod Singhal

    Professor Vinod Singhal has many professional interests including operations strategy, total quality management, supply chain management, management science, and decision analysis. His main research has tended to focus on the impact operating decisions have on accounting and stock market based performance measures.

  • singhal_vinod_profile

His research has been supported through grants from the US Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, the American Society of Quality, and the Sloan Foundation.
He is extensively published in both academic and practitioner publications as well as being a well known presenter of his research at many practitioner conferences and universities.
His research has been extensively cited in the media including Business Week, The Economist, Fortune, Smart Money, CFO Europe, Financial Times and Daily Telegraph..

Vinod is also the departmental editor of Production and Operations Management, Associate Editor of Management Science and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, and member of the editorial boards of IEEE Transactions, and Quality Management Journal.
He has served on the Board of Examiners of the Georgia Oglethorpe Award, Bell South’s President Quality Award, and the Baldrige Board of Examiners.

The Achievement Network and the Competitive Strength Report editors are honoured to have been able to base their product on a such solid and reputable research base.

The Purpose and Aim of the Research

How does Total Quality Management (TQM) affect profitability? How does TQM affect shareholder value?

One could ask – is Quality Management still relevant for today’s market place?

Great claims have been made for “Total Quality” over the decades, but few, if any, have been objectively evaluated. There are many commentators who allege Quality Management had all been but a wild goose chase.

Prof Singhal wanted to determine the financial consequences of operational decisions.
He selected 600 companies that had won Excellence Awards – either National Quality based awards such as the Baldrige Award; or the Shingo Award; or supplier awards such as those by General Motors, Toyota USA, GTE Corp, IBM etc.
He balanced his study with 600 other companies that did not win an Excellence Award.

The Findings and Insights

International Quality Management standards are now substantially common and define Best Practice as a “general truth” for Excellence as is reflected in Excellence Awards Practice world-wide. Excellent business practice in any one marketplace has been shown to share common processes, disciplines, skills, behaviours and attitudes to that in any other marketplace, trans-nationally.


  • Dr Singhal’s results are therefore valid for any company competing in a free economy anywhere in the world.

    This means, the results are valid for your company irrespective of your industry, your country or even your business.

  • excellence compass

His research is also timeless.
There are two reasons for this- firstly: time span and secondly: comparative measurement.
He measured the sample companies’ results over a 10 year period – 5 years before they won their award, and then 5 years after.
All the results are comparative. They compare the award winners only with their average peers.


  • His results – and figures are therefore untainted by any short term market, local or national economic phenomena.

    This means they are as relevant for your business today as the time of his study

  • timeless

His research is valid and insightful.
Dr Singhal’s research used only the public published financial accounts for input data – and only published award winners for selecting the companies involved.


  • Excellence provides massive competitive advantage compared to the average in any market

    His results, shown in the table below, indicate across all six (6) financial measures being Excellent gives a clear and definite competitive advantage.

  • Competitive+Insights

Combined with Experience and Expertise

Terry Murphy, Tony Ericson and Steve Goodman saw the huge potential for business leaders when they heard Vinod speak about his research and results.
They combined their considerable knowledge of and experience in helping organisations achieve effective change to Dr Singhal’s message.
The result is these additional insights into what it takes to create and maintain a competitive advantage in the market.

  • Organisations that demonstrate excellence have the ability to change rapidly and effectively.
  • This ability to change is an essential attribute for achieving excellence.