Group Decision Making in Challenger Launch

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GROUP PROCESS IN THE CHALLENGER LAUNCH DECISION:
ANALYSIS:
NASA was created with the intent to establish military culture, US dominance over USSR. Morton Thiokol, Inc., an aerospace company, manufactured the solid propellant rocket motors manufactured the booster rockets SRB used to launch the Challenger Shuttle. Morton Thiokol called for a teleconference, fortnight before the launch had been scheduled to discuss the O ring problem. The Challenger launch was disaster due to various reasons: 1. The engineers at Morton-Thiokol knew that the O-rings did not work well in low temperatures. Although the engineers did tell NASA that about the failure of the O-rings under these conditions, Morton-Thiokol did not do so in a persuasive manner. Morton-Thiokol did not make NASA aware of the grave danger their crew would be in if these O-rings don’t work correctly. Morton-Thiokol should have made sure that their concerns were heard and acknowledged by NASA. 2. Morton-Thiokol was simply afraid to make such a big deal, and they didn’t want to admit that they had made a faulty part or that it might fail. Also, there were financial & political environmental pressures to launch the shuttle on NASA so they were preoccupied with the idea of launching shuttle & any decision to delay was rejected by group. Considering NASA's attitude, no group member or individual was willing to be held accountable for any comment or decision 3. From NASA side, Morton-Thiokol may not have stressed the importance of the possible problems with the O-rings, but once again NASA’s management withheld information. 4. Power Distance in Morton Thiokol & NASA as the engineers passed the information along to the management, but again they did not continue to pass it up the ladder. 5. Lack of concern and information on the part of Morton-Thiokol as they didn’t have proper heuristics to support their view otherwise the NASA would have postponed their launch. 6. Lack of...
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