Challenger Disaster

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Introduction

"The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster" or the 25th mission of NASA's shuttle program on January 28,1986, resulted on explosion just 73 seconds after the shuttle took off which caused the death of 7 crew members, is considered a tragedy disaster rather than a mere accident because an accident could be avoided, as former Morton Thiokol seal expert Roger Boisjoly declared " We could have stopped it .We had initially stopped it. And then the decision was made to go forward anyways"

(Sources " A major malfunction" the story behind the Space Shuttle challenger disaster. Volume 1, the research case by Mark Maier, Ph. D. The state university of NY at Binghamton)

Studying this case is a good example of Organizational Behaviour because we can see how the organizational culture at NASA contributed to the disaster, many unethical events that took place, aggressive and bureaucratic leadership that caused the disaster.

The disaster of the shuttle was both due to technical and organizational failure, technical failure the rubber O-ring seals in the booster rocket failed to seal safely because of the freezing temperature before the lift-off, also the flawed decision -making that encourage the launch and caused the death of 7 crew members.

1-How did the organizational culture at NASA contribute to the disaster?

Organization's Culture is the basic pattern of shared assumptions, values and beliefs considered to be correct way of thinking about a problem. ( Mcshane Chp.16,pg456)

An organization's culture is one of three factors that can affect ethics on the organization, besides leadership and personal commitment to ethics. For that there is a strong relation between ethics and leadership, and in this case of shutt...

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...ion System.

Level I, NASA Headquarters Washington, D.C. Represented by Jesse Moore associate Administrator for Space Flight

SOURCES:

Challenger: The path to Disaster (teaching Note) by Mark Maier, PH.D. Organizational leadership program. College of lifelong Learning. Case Research Journal, winter 1994 .14(1), p.1-49

" A major malfunction", the story behind the Space Shuttle challenger disaster. Volume 1, the research case by Mark Maier, Ph. D. The state university of NY at Binghamton)

Steven L. McShane `s Canadian Organizational Behaviour- Fifth edition. "Leadership" chapter 14 and "Decision making" chapter 10.

Reading Organizational theory, a critical approach to the study of Organizational Behaviour and structure, by Jean-Helms Mills, Albert J. Mills and Tony Simmons. Chapter 2 "understanding Bureaucracies."
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