Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Resources



First Advisor

Gareth Gardiner

Second Advisor

James Lister

Third Advisor

Arlene Taich


This thesis will focus on how to transition the Human Resource Division at St. Louis Public Schools into a customer focused, responsive service organization. Like many other industries, urban education has some uniqueness but there are also some common issues. To better understand the management style traditionally used in urban education, this project started with conducting extensive research on the history of management in education.

History is only important in understanding the past. Good management must focus on the present and create the future. To better plan to create a changed human resource function, two basic management concepts were also researched, school based management and total quality management.

Other school districts have had success in improving the quality of education being provided by implementing school-based management. St. Louis Public Schools has already made a commitment to implement school-based management. School-based management is a concept that places accountability and responsibility as close to the students as possible. Much of the decision making for budgets, curriculum, and personnel are shifted from the central office to the schools. Schools are managed by teams composed of all stakeholders. This includes parents, students, community leaders, teachers, and other school administrators. The principal, however, is still ultimately responsible for student achievement at his/her school. Any changes made in human resources must be supportive of school-based management.

The other management concept explored was total quality management. Total quality management is a system approach to integrating all strategies of a company in order to create a customer focused, quality organization. As it applies to human resources, total quality management has as its goal to increase quality, productivity, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and loyalty.

This study will discuss some of the changes that have already occurred. The study will also incorporate some of the total quality management techniques in outlining a Three to Five Year Human Resource Strategic Plan. 2