Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Mary J. Kuffner Hirt, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David D. Chambers, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Wade Seibert, Ph.D.


The challenge of replacing the baby-boomer generation of employees is beginning in government agencies as they face a “tsunami” of retirements. This generation forms the core of middle managers or supervisors who are essential to providing the continuity in government organizations that serve the needs of citizens on a daily basis, or most critically in times of crisis. This same generation of government employees worked through decades of change in public administration. The 1980s private sector influences of entrepreneurial organizational culture, influenced a movement that sought to reinvent government. The term “transformation” was often used to describe these radical changes. In the 1990s, under the National Performance Review, various transformation strategies were explored and tested to cut red tape, break bureaucracy, and change government agencies into organizations that simply worked better and cost less. Today the movement to change government organizations by deploying transformation strategies continues simultaneously as government agencies also seek to recruit the baby-boomer replacements from academia and the private sector. However, the replacements cite bureaucracy as one of the most prevalent factors eschewing them from accepting government employment. This suggests that government transformation away from bureaucracy is a critical element to the continuity of some government agencies. This case study investigated transformation in the United States Postal Service. It considered the strategies adopted for their transformation and the reasons for their selection. It considered whether transformation strategies were more aligned with performance systems and technical fixes that could rationalize the organizational systems, or performance management and adaptive change that relied more on unobtrusive controls. It also considered the perceived organizational impacts of transformation on the internal workplace of the Postmasters, managers, and supervisors. As the second largest civilian employer, the Postal Service reaches every United States household and its operations are often perceived as an indication of the health of the federal government as a whole.