When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986, millions of Americans became bound together in a single, historic moment Many still vividly remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the tragedy In The Challenger Launch Decision, Diane Vaughan recreates the steps leading up to that fateful decision, contradicting conventional interpretations to prove that what occurred at NASA was not skulduggery or misconduct but a disastrous mistake.Journalists and investigators have historically cited production problems and managerial wrong doing as the reasons behind the disaster The Presidential Commission uncovered a flawed decision making process at the space agency as well, citing a well documented history of problems with the O ring and a dramatic last minute protest by engineers over the Solid Rocket Boosters as evidence of managerial neglect.Why did NASA managers, who not only had all the information prior to the launch but also were warned against it, decide to proceed In retelling how the decision unfolded through the eyes of the managers and the engineers, Vaughan uncovers an incremental descent into poor judgment, supported by a culture of high risk technology She reveals how and why NASA insiders, when repeatedly faced with evidence that something was wrong, normalized the deviance so that it became acceptable to them.No safety rules were broken No single individual was at fault Instead, the cause of the disaster is a story not of evil but of the banality of organizational life This powerful work explains why the Challenger tragedy must be reexamined and offers an unexpected warning about the hidden hazards of living in this technological age....
|Title||:||The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA|
|Number of Pages||:||463 Pages|
|File Size||:||683 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA Reviews
I have purchased this book several times in different formats. This book goes into the culture behind NASAs Challenger Launch. While that is the primary focus the deeper focus is on why many modern companies fail because their culture dooms them. When companies become so focused on moving forward that they will not listen to any dissenting voices in the ranks disasters happen. It is especially significant that when a disaster happens many companies immediately "react" to it - however their culture brings them right back into another disaster because change cannot really take place. Many companies talk about the need to change or grow, yet often look on people who have different opinions or ideas as outsiders who "poison" the company culture. Instead of getting rid of these people or alienating them companies should look at ways to investigate even the wildest claims with open minds instead of instant dismissal. In the case of NASA, their culture fell right back into their old ways resulting in the loss of the second shuttle something this book made clear was a possibility - before it happened.
As a sociological explanation of disastrous decision making in high risk applications, this book is without peer, exceeding even Charles Perrow's work by a fair measure. Vaughan, a sociologist, obviously worked very hard at understanding the field joint technology that caused the "Challenger" accident, and even harder at understanding the extremely complex management and decision making processes at NASA and Morton Thiokol.
This book, while not light reading, is an important work. It is one of the best investigations into the Challenger disaster out there and will be appreciated by those interested in that story from history. This book, however, is not just a history book. It explores how bureaucracies work and why they often fail. It reminds the reader that a bureaucracy's failure is not necessarily the failure of one man in particular, or a result of gross incompetence at any step in the decision making process... that, often, these failures are rooted in the systems and cultures within which people work. That message can be eye opening, and is applicable to better understanding the workings of other government bureaucracies, and even, perhaps, our own private employers. This is one of those rare books that can change the way you look at the world around you.
Information is very detailed and complex. Basically a bunch of good professional people allowed bad things to happen and Ms. Vaughan helps to explain how they did so. I didnt understand it all but I think enough to get the message she tried to convey. Material was written in a readable, interesting, and page turning style.
A great book - many lessons for business in making decisions based on what you want to see and not what is really in front of you.
A really nice review of how normalization of deviation can infect an organization and have bad outcomes. Should be required reading for all airline, powerplant, chemical plant, nuclear plant, hospital, ... executives and decision makers.
Approachable yet in depth analysis at a professional level. Judgment dependent on process must have feedback loops to validate the process. An aberration that reoccurs is still an aberration, not to be normalized into process because nothing bad happened -- that time, or even the time before. If nothing in this analysis applies to your business, you, too, cannot connect the dots.