Groupthink Challenger Disaster

Topics: Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Space Shuttle Columbia, Space Shuttle Challenger Pages: 3 (1098 words) Published: June 23, 2013
How does the theory of groupthink apply to the 1986 Challenger disaster?

Here is a brief trailer for a larger analysis of the disaster: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K2vqVAG7iI

Do you, or does the literature, think that NASA's organizational culture was also to blame for the 2003 Columbia disaster, or was the problem of groupthink alleviated in the intervening 17 years?

Please use your text and online research about the administrative issues that led to this disaster. Remember to cite your sources and reply to at least 2 of your classmates' posts. Each week, students provide a critical review of the questions and substantially reply to the contributions of at least two peers.  Individual postings should include an evaluation of the content of the forum questions and explain how it relates to the concepts in the text and other external resources.  The postings should be analytic in nature and include comparisons/contrasts and examples that can support your argument. 

Your essay should be posted by midnight Friday and be approximately 750 words. Your responses to your classmates (min 2) should be posted by midnight Sunday and be approximately 250 words each. Remember to use and cite multiple scholarly works using APA format.

It is imperative to start the essay from providing basic background about groupthinking. According to Turner (1998), groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. Important to notice that loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The...

References: Bergin C. (2007). Remembering the Mistakes of Challenger. Retrieved on June 13, 2013 from http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2007/01/remembering-the-mistakes-of-challenger/
Brooke, J. (2011). Diversity and Corporate Performance: a Review of the Literature. Retrieved on June 13, 2013 from http://nclawreview.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/brooke.pdf
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2003). Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report. Retrieved on June 13, 2013 from http://www.nasa.gov/columbia/home/CAIB_Vol1.html
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1986). Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. Retrieved on June 13, 2013 from http://history.nasa.gov/rogersrep/genindex.htm
Turner, M. (1998). Twenty-Five Years of Groupthink Theory and Research: Lessons from the Evaluation of a Theory. Retrieved on June 13, 2013 from http://carmine.se.edu/cvonbergen/Twenty-Five%20Years%20of%20Groupthink%20Theory%20and%20Research_Lessons%20from%20the%20Evaluation%20of%20a%20Theory.pdf
Wells, J, (2005). Groupthink and the Challenger Disaster. Retrieved on June 13, 2013 from http://www.wellsj.com/library/groupthink.shtml
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