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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Strategic management of human resources in schools: Testing horizontal and vertical fit hypotheses
by Lopez-Diaz, Rodrigo A., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2012, 37; 3536140
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze if and how different human resource (HR) management practices, along with mediating variables, can impact the effectiveness of schools in producing student learning, school discipline, student satisfaction and parental satisfaction with schools. Central to this analysis was to test universalistic and vertical/horizontal fit hypotheses: In other words, are there identifiable best practices or sets of best practices that are good predictors of effectiveness across all schools (universalistic hypothesis) or are there contextual (vertical fit) and configurational (horizontal fit) elements that have to be taken into account when designing optimal configurations of HR practices. Using extensive Chilean datasets, HR management and contextual variables were constructed to test these hypotheses. Two contextual variables were used for the vertical fit hypotheses: the average socio-economic status of students attending each school and the type of school.

Using cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and path analysis, evidence of the relevance of both horizontal fit and vertical fit was found. Related to horizontal fit, it was found that HR management practices operate in bundles to facilitate effectiveness; while an increase in just one practice oftentimes will not lead to better performance -and sometimes might actually worsen it-, simultaneous improvements in the set of practices analyzed appear to drive improvements on all outcome measures. In relation to vertical fit, the effect size and even the direction of the relation of these HR management practices with outcomes was found to vary depending on the context variables used in this research. In particular, and also related to vertical fit, very relevant differences in parent satisfaction were found between public and private subsidized schools (similar to charter schools in the U.S.) and variables included in this research did a good job explaining those differences.

It is expected that this work will contribute in particular to the knowledge base of Chilean effective schools and, in general, to the best practice/best fit debate in the Strategic Management of Human Resources (SMHR) literature and to a more nuanced understanding of effective schools and effective school leadership.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kuriloff, Peter
School: University of Pennsylvania
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Management, Educational administration
Keywords: Discipline, Horizontal and vertical fit, Parent satisfaction, School effectiveness, Strategic management of human resources, Student satisfaction
Publication Number: 3536140
ISBN: 978-1-267-91382-1
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