In the Strike in Space case, there are two primary problems. One major problem is the misuse of authority of the ground control in the way it manages the astronauts. This abuse of power is evident in several sub-issues such as: micromanagement, procedural injustice, and the disregard for employee input. Another major problem is lack of motivation caused by unrealistic expectations, poorly defined goals, and the absence of an incentive policy.
Micromanagement (Taylorism/Scientific Management)
The level of micromanagement applied by the mission control upon the astronauts is a key sub-issue that adds to the primary misuse of power problem. Clearly there are several elements of Taylorim at play here, in regards to the reason why this level of micromanagement was established. Similar to Frederick Taylor, Neil Hutchinson - who represents mission control in this organization - felt strongly that the shift of all responsibility from the astronauts (workers) to mission control (manager) was a key principle for a successful mission. In regards to this line of thinking, every minute of each astronaut’s day was scheduled and programmed according to how the manager felt, was the most scientifically efficient way of doing each activity that was required by the worker. Hutchinson felt that, after the exhaustive selection processes and extensive training programs, the astronauts were ready to perform that this high level of detailed efficiency. Not receiving this level of complete compliance that is expected with this approach, frustrated Hutchinson into commenting that he would be happier if Skylab had been a mechanical unmanned satellite. From the 3rd crew’s point of view, this was not the ideal way of working considering that Taylor’s five simple principles were ideally tailored for lower educated workers with routine based tasks. The crew agreed that there was one efficient way of completing a task, which they were happy to comply with but requested that more...
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