Organizational behavior and disaster

a study of conflict at NASA

Formal investigations into the in-flight explosions of the United States space shuttles Challenger and Columbia revealed problems that go beyond the technical and mechanical. These disasters occurred, this paper explains, because of operational problems within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), problems caused by NASA's practice of groupthink, its dependence on externally imposed budgets and schedules, and its breakdown in project quality management. This paper opens by examining NASA's 47-year history, its entrenched groupthink culture (seemingly invulnerable, historically complacent), and its unwillingness to appropriately manage the triple constraints--schedule, cost, and quality. Following this, it identifies the forces controlling NASA's management and explains how these forces influence the way NASA manages its operations.
member content locked

Become a PMI member to gain access

or Join

Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Content

  • PMI White Paper

    Agile Regulation member content open

    By National Academy of Public Admiistration | PMI The National Academy of Public Administration recently presented the results of a year-long effort to identify the Grand Challenges in Public Administration.

  • Project Management Journal

    Mixed-Methods Research for Project Management Journal® member content locked

    By Jiang, James | Klein, Gary | Müller, Ralf We continue our series of editorials providing guidance for future submissions to Project Management Journal® (PMJ).

  • Project Management Journal

    Servant Leadership and Project Success member content locked

    By Nauman, Shazia | Musawir, Ata Ul | Malik, Sania Zahra | Munir, Hina Employing self-determination and social identification theories, we examined how servant leadership, which focuses on employees’ needs, influences project success.

  • Project Management Journal

    Seven Decades of Project Portfolio Management Research (1950–2019) and Perspectives for the Future member content locked

    By Hansen, Lars Kristian | Svejvig, Per We evaluate what has already happened in the field of project portfolio management (PPM) and what will most likely shape the future.

  • Project Management Journal

    Using Social Media in Project Management member content locked

    By Ram, Jiwat | Titarenko This article offers some significant insights on the challenges of using social media in project management, using survey responses from 167 managerial and senior-level staff to an open-ended…

Advertisement