Case Detail

Case Summary

Cristo Rey St. Martin College Preparatory School: Promoting a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Case Number: 5-218-254, Year Published: 2019

HBS Number: KE1124

Request PreviewBuy

Key Concepts

Change Management, Continuous Improvement, Education, Nonprofit Management, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Culture, Organizational Effectiveness, Organizational Structure


Cristo Rey St. Martin College Preparatory (CRSM), a school with a unique educational model, has built a culture of accountability and student achievement. Founded in 2004 with a mission of serving "young people of limited economic means," the school had a rocky start. It was plagued with student failure, high teacher turnover, and a total lack of accountability on the part of both students and teachers. In 2008, a new principal, Michael Odiotti, was hired to turn around the school. During his early years as principal, Mr. Odiotti faced many challenges, including poor academic results, lack of discipline, the threat of bankruptcy, and insufficient employers to support the school's work-study program. By 2018, the school had overcome some of these obstacles, and its metrics were exemplary. The question CRSM currently faces is how it can bolster a new culture of continuous improvement to avoid complacency while continuing to push accountability to achieve even greater results.

This case (though it may stand on its own) is a continuation of the events described in "Creating a Culture of Empowerment and Accountability at St. Martin de Porres High," Cases #5-410-755(A) and (B) (KEL514 and KEL515) (Kellogg School of Management, 2010).

Learning Objectives

After reading and discussing the case, students will be able to: analyze how CRSM's culture has changed between 2004 and 2018; assess challenges faced in preserving an established culture; evaluate key aspects in building a culture of continuous improvement; and identify the roles that different stakeholders have in building and maintaining a culture of continuous improvement.

Number of Pages: 17

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Non Profit, Organizational Behavior

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Private schools

Organization Name: Cristo Rey St. Martin College Preparatory School

Decision Maker Position: Principal

Decision Maker Gender: Male