United States Postal Service Summary Term Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Business - Management Type: Term Paper Paper: #53172371 Related Topics: President Of The United States, United Nations, Us, United States
Excerpt from Term Paper :

The continuing economic recession that began in 2008 in the United States greatly exacerbated that revenue problem as people reduced their unnecessary use of postal services and increased their use of private-sector competitors such as United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx). To date, the USPS has been slow to respond to competition, particularly in relation to the adoption of the bar coding system that has long been in use by UPS and FedEx and that is considered to have been instrumental in their increase of the market share (Brewster & Dalzell, 2007).

The USPS already has formal plans to adopt such mechanisms by the year 2013, but those plans preceded the economic crisis of 2008 and the precipitous nature of funding issues affecting its operations in the current political climate. In that regard, the USPS is also saddled with significant pension obligations that have inspired considerable attention in Washington from legislators intent on reducing resources available to the USPS for its necessary evolution into the modern era rather than funding that evolution. As a result, it is quite likely that postal operations will soon have to be reduced such as by eliminating regular delivery services on certain days of the week.

Human Resource Strategies

Despite various efforts to implement reforms intended to improve employee morale at the USPS, the organization is still characterized by McGregor's Theory X dynamic rather than by Theory Y (Robbins & Judge, 2009). Specifically, the USPS is generally not a vocational environment in which self-motivation, self-control, and the minimization of distinction between employees and management prevail (Anonymous, 2011). To the contrary, the USPS workplace is largely characterized by self-interest, relative dislike of work, and by motivation more by the negative consequences of poor performance ratings than by anything in relation to genuine initiative or a culture of inclusion in decision making and workplace contribution. It is a highly transactional vocational environment in which a higher than average proportion of employees would prefer to work elsewhere if a comparable opportunity arose that provided similar pay and benefits (Robbins & Judge, 2009).

Generally, there is a culture of antagonism between many employees and many supervisors as well as on the part of local postal managers toward headquarters. Decisions of supervisors within individual post offices are widely considered by employees to reflect favoritism as much as can be exercised subject to applicable laws and federal rules. In the opinion of the interview subject, there is sufficient room "in between the lines" of applicable regulations for managers and supervisors to freely penalize employees without actual justification to the extent they are expert in the application of formal policies.

As a result, the culture reflects a CYA ("cover your ass") approach among postal employees and a climate of mistrust between postal employees and management. According to the interview subject, many employees believe that their managers do not respect them or care about their well-being necessarily. Many supervisors are inflexible and arbitrary in their decisions and seem to make no attempt to be more fair than they are absolutely required to be by law. According to the interview subject, letter carriers generally do have a concern for their customers but USPS employees...


They often develop a negative attitude toward both and approach each shift as though the primary objective is to avoid hassles and get through the day as easily as possible. Virtually nothing at the post office is self-directed or self-motivated and the interview subject expressed the belief that, at least under current conditions, it would be impractical to imagine a workplace that reflected the principles (phrased as part of several questions by the interviewer) of McGregor's Theory Y in the workplace.

Model I or Model II Characterization

As part of the same interview, the interviewer briefly outlined the concepts of Model I and Model II workplace environments (Robbins & Judge, 2009) in connection with continued questions. That explanation actually elicited laughter from the interview subject in relation to the use the terms advocacy and inquiry, in response to which the subject asked "What's the exact opposite of that?" According to the interview subject, working at the USPS is dangerous psychologically because it is very difficult to know whom to trust and also because there are inherent physical dangers associated with back-office operations and also with the responsibilities of Letter Carriers in the field.

More specifically, the subject expressed awareness of many situations where casual conversations among coworkers were subsequently used against someone, such as by informing supervisors to curry favor or to exact revenge for perceived slights. In some post offices, there is also a culture of unofficial "rank" based on seniority that exists apart from any recognized hierarchy among employees of similar pay grade. In some situations, for example, there are negative social consequences associated with exercising employment rights that are clearly spelled out in the applicable federal rules, such as those pertaining to scheduling vacations. For example, employees who take advantage of certain opportunities to which they are fully entitled by law and agency policy risk social ostracism and other forms of subtle retaliation in ways that cannot readily be addressed by any formal procedures since they do not involve supervisors and they are not readily provable. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that these dynamics have the potential for making life at work miserable for certain employees.

The back-office environment is also dangerous physically because many employees do not exercise common sense and routinely violate rules and procedures that are established for their safety. According to the interview subject, supervisors make a show of complying with safety protocols and of ensuring that communications are distributed and they make sure that safety training is implemented as required. However, in a practical sense, many of them deliberately overlook specific violations of safety procedures and the use of prohibited techniques and habits in the mail room if they know that those prohibited activities promote productivity, even at potential risk to employees. For example, one supervisor routinely makes comments such as, "I have never seen you operate that sorting machine without that guardrail," referring to the practice of removing a safety feature that slows down mail sorting and directing that comment to an employee who was operating the device after removing the guardrail and placing on the floor.

Finally, with respect to personal safety on the job, the interview subject recounted personal stories of having been attacked by guard dogs, non-guard dogs, and of suffering injuries caused by un-shoveled driveways and frozen staircases. The subject gave examples of various instances where official USPS "policy" is designed to protect Letter Carriers from encountering certain physical risks but where following those policies would almost certainly generate customer complaints that would be held against the employee by supervisors. After explaining the dilemma encountered in that regard, the subject said "See, that's what I was talking about before."


Anonymous. (2011). Personal Interview Conducted by the Researcher on November 2,

2001 with a current USPS employee working as a Letter Carrier since 2000. The

Interview was conducted on the strict condition of absolute anonymity.

Brewster, M. And Dalzell, F. (2007). Driving Change: The UPS Approach to Business.

New York: Hyperion.

Edwards, G., Wattenberg, M., and Lineberry, R. (2009). Government in America: People,

Politics, and Policy. New York, NY: Longman.

George, J.M. And Jones, G.R. (2008). Understanding and Managing Organizational

Behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Geradin, D. And Sidak, J.G. (2005). "The Future of the U.S. Postal Service:

American and European Perspectives after the Presidential Commission and Flamingo Industries. The Global Competition Law Centre Working Papers Series

GCLC Working Paper 01/05. Retrieved online November 8, 2011…

Sources Used in Documents:


Anonymous. (2011). Personal Interview Conducted by the Researcher on November 2,

2001 with a current USPS employee working as a Letter Carrier since 2000. The

Interview was conducted on the strict condition of absolute anonymity.

Brewster, M. And Dalzell, F. (2007). Driving Change: The UPS Approach to Business.

Cite this Document:

"United States Postal Service Summary" (2011, November 10) Retrieved July 28, 2021, from

"United States Postal Service Summary" 10 November 2011. Web.28 July. 2021. <

"United States Postal Service Summary", 10 November 2011, Accessed.28 July. 2021,

Related Documents
US Postal Service
Words: 1522 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Business - Management Paper #: 4564769

United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent body of the federal government that is mandated with the responsibility of providing postal service in America. The agency was known as the U.S. Post Office Department in 1971 when it was totally managed by the United States government. In addition to be referred to as Post Office, Postal Service or U.S. Mail, USPS is one of the few agencies of the

United States Social Welfare Programs
Words: 658 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Healthcare Paper #: 45658689

The law also limits lifetime welfare assistance to five years, requires most able-bodied adults to work after two years on welfare, eliminates welfare benefits for legal immigrants who have not become U.S. citizens, and limits food stamps to a period of three months unless the recipients are working. Example: A young eighteen-year-old female who just had a child, but cannot find the father of her child, or doesn't know

Pass H.R. 1351 "United States
Words: 1051 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Economics Paper #: 24007230

Some feel that this is a union backed bailout and that the union has no interest in protecting the American tax payer. These people feel that the USPS should be left to sink or swim and that if they fail this would be the beginning of government employee reduction. Other believe that it has been proven that things cannot go on the way they are ultimately, far-reaching changes are

USA World Bank Case Study
Words: 3179 Length: 11 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 72332397

22 (United States Census Bureau). Finally, Best Market Research surveyed a disproportionate amount of those with incomes under $20,000 per year (United States Census Bureau), sample issues that most likely arose from the media of the survey, a survey. In addition to these severe sample discrepancies, the fact that the data was collected significantly earlier than the implementation date of the project is a serious time fallacy. Additionally, the statistical

UPS Section 1 Company's Services
Words: 3877 Length: 13 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 33075431

49% which shows that the company is able to earn $22 by investing $100 which is certainly a sign of financial healthy company. After analyzing the profitability ratio, let's now examine the efficiency ratios of the company. Efficiency Ratio Analysis Efficiency ratios (ER) are the ratios which used to assess the effectiveness of a company. The specific rations come under the ambit of ER are Return on Asset (ROA) and Return on

Fed Ex and United Parcel
Words: 2461 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 24400586

One global business mentioned in the report as a technology leader with high brand equity was at&T. Customer equity is that value of future business purchased by the customer based on brand equity, which in turn means consumer acceptance of the product, customer relationships and customer perception of the value. The postal service would encounter both retention and value problems and would be viewed as difficult to do business