This study examines the relationships among corporate board involvement, total quality management (TQM) adoption, perceived market competition, and the perceived effect of quality improvement (QI) activities for a sample of nursing homes in Pennsylvania. The findings of this study have several implications for healthcare managers interested in maximizing the effectiveness of QI efforts. Board involvement in quality improvement was an important predictor of QI outcomes in the areas of finance, resident care, and human resources. However, TQM adoption had a positive effect on human resources outcomes only. These findings suggest that board involvement in any organized form of QI may be more important than the adoption of a formal TQM program in the nursing home industry. TQM's emphasis on employee empowerment may account for its positive influence on human resources. Perceived competition was associated with better financial outcomes. Low-cost leadership can be a key to survival in more competitive markets, requiring a focus on efficiency and productivity issues in QI efforts. By focusing on process improvement, the facilities may achieve cost reductions that can result in an improved financial position. Facilities perceived to be in more competitive environments were also more likely to adopt TQM. This is consistent with the assertion by resource-dependence theorists that organizations facing competition for resources must be responsive to the needs of resource-providing constituencies.