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Spriegel, William Robert (1893–1972)


William Robert Spriegel, authority on personnel management, was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on May 14, 1893, the son of John William and Mary M. (Lynn) Spriegel. He received a B.A. degree in economics in 1914 and a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1915, both from Lebanon University. Spriegel served for two years as superintendent of schools at Waynesville, Ohio. In World War I he served as an aviator and test pilot. On August 6, 1918, he married Gladys Maree Strelinger; they had two children. Spriegel received an M.A. degree in psychology in 1920 and a Ph.D. degree in economics in 1935, both from the University of Michigan. From 1919 to 1931 he held important managerial positions with the U.S. Rubber Company, Dodge Brothers, Fisher Body Corporation, and Charles A. Strelinger Company in Detroit. He left the industrial business world to go to the University of Michigan School of Business Administration as assistant in policy for two years. Spriegel began his teaching career at Western Kentucky State Teachers College in 1934, and in 1937 he went to Northwestern University, where he chaired the management department from 1939 to 1948. He also served for a while as mediator on the National War Labor Board in 1942. He joined the University of Texas faculty in 1948 as professor of management and associate dean of the College of Business Administration. He was named dean of the college two years later and held that post until 1958. After resigning his deanship, Spriegel continued to teach through 1966 and occasionally went on national lecture tours. He was the author and coauthor of many books, including Personnel Management (1954), Industrial Management (1955), and Elements of Supervision (1957). His numerous monographs included works on job evaluation, personnel practices in the automobile industry and colleges and universities, and training supervisors in human relations. He served as vice president and later as president of the American Academy of Management during the mid-1950s and was one of the U.S. delegates to the International Management Congress in 1953 and 1957. He was general chairman of the Texas Personnel and Management Association and held various other positions in national professional organizations. On May 21, 1953, the Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring him for "notable and constructive work in the field of Scientific Management." Spriegel was a Democrat and Presbyterian. He died in Austin on August 28, 1972, and was buried in Roseland Park, Berkley, Michigan.

Austin American-Statesman, August 29, 1972. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in America, 1960–61.


  • Education
  • Educators
  • Law and Business

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Spriegel, William Robert,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 01, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.