In current educational reforms, the shift to school-based management is often assumed as the important approach to enhancing school effectiveness and educational quality. This assumption will be problematic if the relationship between education quality and school-based management is conceptually and empirically unclear. This paper aims to provide a theoretical framework to explore this relationship. It explains how the characteristics of school-based management or self-management at multi-levels can contribute to the emphasis and concerns of seven different models of educational quality in school. The proposed framework has useful implications for current educational reforms in international contexts. Copyright © 1997 British National Leadership, Management and Administration Society.