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The U.S. Postal Service Organizational Structure

the united states postal service: organizational theory

The USPS chief executive in 1993 stated that the implementation of team organization, employee empowerment, and other human resource initiatives will enable the USPS to attain productivity-related goals in the last-half of the 1990s (Cockburn, 1993). Unfortunately, at the operational level, the USPS continues to be an organization that is plagued by lower-level managers who are not sympathetic to change. These lower-level managers are a threat to the ultimate success of the drive to improve productivity at the USPS.

One potential cause of the productivity problem at the USPS is the organization's structure. Two primary classifications of organizational structure are mechanistic and organic. The differences between mechanistic and organic organizational structures are expressed in the context of the level of formal structure and control embodied in the two organizational concepts (Daft, 1992). The character of an organization's internal structure is often related to the external environment within which it functions. In this context, Warren Bennis (1976) observed that organizations must strike a balance between openness to the external environment and protection from too much permeability. Organizations functioning within a stable external environment typically have formal internal organizational structures with clearly established and observed operating procedures and rules, and a well defined hierarchy of authority. Within such organizations, decision making is typically top-down in character. This type of organizational structure is mechanistic in character. Organizations functioning within a dynamic external environment frequently are chaotic in characterùdefined as "much looser, free flowing, and adaptive" (Daft, 1992, p. 71). Rules and regulations are not written down, or if written down are frequently ignored. People have to find their own way through the ...

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The U.S. Postal Service Organizational Structure. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:13, February 22, 2017, from