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3 - UPS: Brown's organic growth story

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2009

Edward D. Hess
Affiliation:
Adjunct Professor of Organization and Management, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Cor-porate Growth, and Executive Director of the Values-Based Leadership Institute, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
Edward D. Hess
Affiliation:
Emory University, Atlanta
Robert K. Kazanjian
Affiliation:
Emory University, Atlanta
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Summary

This is UPS's growth story from its birth in 1907 in Seattle, Washington when nineteen-year-old Jim Casey started a messenger and home delivery service for city department stores. Today UPS is a global public company with more than $36 billion of revenue, and operations in over 200 countries and territories.

This chapter will discuss how UPS grew organically and explain how UPS's culture and internal processes have relentlessly focused the company on growing organically. We will attempt to answer the following questions: How does UPS keep evolving? Why has it not become arrogant, complacent, or insular? How has UPS institutionalized organic growth into its culture, processes, and business model?

What is UPS?

UPS is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and employs 384,000 employees worldwide. Of these, approximately 40,000 work in countries other than the United States and fewer than 40 of those 40,000 employees are US expatriates. UPS is the fourth largest employer in the United States.

UPS's worldwide revenues of $36 billion are derived primarily from the delivery of packages and documents. In the last five years, UPS has expanded the scope of its services to provide freight forwarding, customs clearance, inventory management, pick and pack, export financing, and customer returns and repairs so as to be a service provider along the entire supply and distribution chain.

UPS is a vertically integrated company. For example, it operates the world's eleventh largest airline, maintaining its own air fleet of 569 jets and employing over 2,500 pilots.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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  • UPS: Brown's organic growth story
    • By Edward D. Hess, Adjunct Professor of Organization and Management, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Cor-porate Growth, and Executive Director of the Values-Based Leadership Institute, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
  • Edited by Edward D. Hess, Emory University, Atlanta, Robert K. Kazanjian, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: The Search for Organic Growth
  • Online publication: 03 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618055.003
Available formats
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Save book to Dropbox

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  • UPS: Brown's organic growth story
    • By Edward D. Hess, Adjunct Professor of Organization and Management, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Cor-porate Growth, and Executive Director of the Values-Based Leadership Institute, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
  • Edited by Edward D. Hess, Emory University, Atlanta, Robert K. Kazanjian, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: The Search for Organic Growth
  • Online publication: 03 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618055.003
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • UPS: Brown's organic growth story
    • By Edward D. Hess, Adjunct Professor of Organization and Management, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Cor-porate Growth, and Executive Director of the Values-Based Leadership Institute, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
  • Edited by Edward D. Hess, Emory University, Atlanta, Robert K. Kazanjian, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: The Search for Organic Growth
  • Online publication: 03 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618055.003
Available formats
×