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Investigates what approaches to quality lead to best quality and financial performance across different regions of the world. Reports a survey of 977 firms in Asia/South Pacific, Europe, and North America. Fifty-two items that suggest how a firm might improve quality were factor analysed and grouped into 11 factors, each factor a broader approach to quality improvement than any one item. Actual quality was measured eight different ways. Each approach to quality improvement (factor) was correlated to each quality measure, as well as to several financial measures. The results suggest that a company’s approach to quality correlates to actual quality and to a lesser extent to financial performance. The major factors found to influence actual quality were the organization’s knowledge of quality management, its degree of customer focus, and management involvement. When the task was to predict performance outcomes in any region, the specific factors that best predict performance were found to vary from region to region. That is, there were specific models within a region that better predicted performance than the model which predicted performance across all regions.