The Impact of New Technologies on Government Bureaucracy
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The United States Postal Service is a government agency created with the foundation of the United States of America. Today, the Internet has become its biggest competition, taking significant revenue away from the Postal Service and sending it on a path towards bankruptcy. This research seeks to answer the question, “How can the United States Postal Service adapt as a bureaucratic agency to the increasing use of the Internet in today’s information age?” Extensive analysis of the four traditional rationales for the existence of the USPS—universal service/access, economies of scale and scope, monopoly, and networks/positive externalities—shines light on efficiency and political issues that, if addressed, would require both a change in mission and cost structure for the United States Postal Service. While virtually all citizens have access to the USPS, two thirds of Americans have Internet access. By providing the remaining third of the American population with Internet access and offering subsidies for online story creation, the Internet will function as Postmaster. After addressing package delivery and other retail/service opportunities within the USPS, along with negotiating fair wage terms and fringe benefits for employees, the United States Postal Service will remain a successful bureaucratic agency with a new direction. The following research supports the notion that bureaucratic agencies can survive the Information Age by focusing on what citizens need, seeking advantages in the trusted relationships built between citizens and the government, harnessing the power of strategic alliances, and accepting constantly evolving technologies as an agent for change not only in society but in the bureaucracy itself.
DepartmentPublic Policy Studies
SubjectUnited States Postal Service
Economies of scale and scope
CitationTalpalar, Jacquelyn (2010). The Impact of New Technologies on Government Bureaucracy. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/3166.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers