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CASE STUDY THE CHALLENGER AND COLUMBIA SHUTTLE DISASTERS
STRAYER UNIVERSITY
HRM 560
FRANCHRISTA M. ROLLIE
9 SEPTEMBER 2012

The Challenger and Columbia Shuttle disasters case study is about the tragic disintegration of the two shuttles occurring in 1986 and 2003. This paper examines the different areas of Organizational Behavior that went wrong with the two shuttle disasters. It will touch down on how the organizational culture at NASA contributed to the disaster, how the organizational structures and communication patterns contributed to flawed decision making and the role that leadership also played in the disaster. Also, the paper will cover how ethics apply to the case and the many different ethical levels that can be discussed regarding the disaster and finally it will discuss who was responsible for the "seriously flawed" decision making process and how it played its role in the disaster. By the end of this paper you will see how each of these factors played an integral part in the organizational disaster of The Challenger and The Columbia Shuttles. Discuss the changes that NASA implemented after the Challenger disaster. The historical context that I believe helped NASA to refine their vision and mission are the incidences that occurred which was the 1986 Challenger disaster and the 2003 Colombia disaster. The Challenger disaster was the first disastrous incident that was a major space shuttle tragedy that left seven astronauts dead. According to History.com, “On January 28, 1986 the shuttle challenger was destroyed a minute after the launch because of the failure of an O-ring which is a sealant ring on one of its solid rock boosters about one minute after the launch.” This event caused a lot of controversy as well as the blame put on the NASA administrative system and its failure to maintain an effective system of quality control. The tragedy brought a haul and NASA realized the need for immediate intervention. The systems were...
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