Executive Summary

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Executive Summary

In this report, film was used as a learning resource to analyze selected organizational behaviour models found in today’s workplace. As film is one of the more engaging mediums, this allows for abstract theories to be presented visually and in a dramatic manner. The film Apollo 13 was selected to showcase such models including the communication process model, types of decision making models, and the five-stage model of team development.

Apollo 13 chronicles the events of the 1971 lunar mission involving three astronauts; Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert. After a successful launch, a critical error occurs and the team of astronauts must work together with Mission Control to ensure their survival on their journey back to earth. This error creates conflict among the group of astronauts and negatively impacts team dynamics affecting their chances of survival; but as Commander Jim Lovell manages the changes in group dynamics by taking on task and maintenance oriented roles, he is able to return the group to a normal state.

The communication process model shows how information is effectively passed from sender to receiver. This is analyzed in the scene where the crew must communicate effectively with Mission Control to construct a piece of equipment vital to their survival aboard the spacecraft and reveals the positive impact effective communication has on an organization with not only its employees but also with its customers.

The types of decision making models consist of the rational model, the intuitive decision-making model, the bounded rationality model, and the garbage can model; each with their own advantages and disadvantages. These models are particularly evident in the scene where a team of scientists at Mission Control are trying to think of the fastest and safest way to bring the astronauts back to earth. Although some models may consider more variables or produce more possible courses of action, the decision on what model to use greatly depends on the situation as factors such as time and cost must also be taken into consideration. The five stage model of team development consists of forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning where each stage is evident at different parts of the film. By understanding the processes a team may go through by analyzing this model, one can anticipate the outcome to avoid or resolve areas of conflict before they severely negatively impact the team.

“Houston we have a problem.” It’s a saying heard often, but quoted even more so. Do people really understand the real problem? Even so, do they really understand the tribulations behind the teamwork, organization and strategies used to solve the problem?

The film Apollo 13 is tribute to the true events of one of NASA’s worst tragedies. Apollo 13 was the name given for the 1971 lunar mission involving three chosen astronauts. Jim Lovell, who is chosen for the mission after Al Sheppard is faced with an ear infection, leads Jack Swigert and Fred Haise in the NASA’s third lunar mission. They were successfully launched into space, however, three days into their flight they were abruptly faced with a new mission-Survival! An explosion in the spacecraft causes the goal of the mission to change completely; forces the crew to move into the Lunar Exploration Module and leaves them eager for an answer. Almost as soon as their mission is on way, it is interrupted by a seemingly premature end. As risk becomes more apparent, the crew member’s tempers begin to flare. Aside from the factors of below freezing temperatures, they are faced with vital decisions such as power conservation, the control of carbon monoxide levels in the spacecraft and most significantly, teamwork. With continuous communication amongst the commander and the team at Mission Control, the astronauts prepare for the reentry into the atmosphere and shortly followed by a 4 minute blackout come hesitation and doubt. Not soon after,...
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