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ASSIGNMENT REQUIREMENT

The purpose of this assignment is to apply theoretical frameworks and concepts to an analysis of a case study. You are to critically analyse and report on the decision-making processes and its impact on the behaviour of the management and engineers that were applied in the Challenger Space project.

Conduct preliminary research: (i) Access and critically analyse the Challenger case study on You Tube. (links below)

(ii) Review the lecture and readings found in Topic 4; Power, Resistance, and Decision Making for foundation theories on decision making. (given in attachment)

(iii) Research and read other literature relating to the topic. (attached in the ZIP. File) DO READ SOME OF THE OB READINGS!

2,500 words + executive summary + Reference list Report style e.g 1. Background Information 1.1_______________ _______________ 2. Decision analysis for 2.1 NASA Management _______________ _______________ 2.2 Thiokol Management

_______________ _______________ 2.3 Thiokol Engineers _______________ _______________ 3. Analysis on group and individual 3.1_______________

Minimum 15 references Harvard referencing style Reference page

ASSIGNMENT TOPIC: Apply theoretical frameworks and concepts to


an analysis of a case study. You are to critically analyse and report on the decision making processes and its impact on the behaviour of the management and engineers that were applied in the Challenger Space project.

REPORT CONTENT
The report MUST contain:

Brief background information of the Challenger space project. A decision making analysis for (i) the NASA and Thiokol management team (ii) the engineers. The analysis draws on several group and individual decision making theories including Pfeffers four organisational decision making models. Analyses what the influences were among the engineers and managers on decision making: comfort

for risk; cognitive style; personality; and creativity. Analyses to what extent major impediments to rational decision making were evident at an individual level (information-processing failures, perceptual biases, intuition and emotion, and escalation of commitment). Analyses to what extent the liabilities of decision making (group think and group polarisation) were evident among the managers and engineers. Draws conclusion/s about the key weakness/es in the decision making that led to the Challenger disaster. A minimum of 15 references applying Harvard referencing within the report and listed at the end of the report.

Your report is to analyse the following issues: 1. Describe the background information (strategic context) of the Challenger space project. This information should be brief to place the discussion of your assignment in context and thus may include ownership, years in which the project occurred, business scope, and political climate of the era (e.g. Cold War, competition between the superpowers in the space race). 2. Conduct a decision making analysis for (i) the NASA and Thiokol management team (ii) the engineers. Your analysis should draw on several group and individual decision making theories including Pfeffers Four Organisational Decision Making Models. (i) Analyse what the influences were among the engineers and managers on decision making: comfort for risk; cognitive style; personality; and creativity. (ii) Analyse to what extent major impediments to rational decision making were evident at an individual level (information-processing failures, perceptual biases, intuition and emotion, and escalation of commitment). (iii) Analyse to what extent the liabilities of decision making (group think and group polarisation) were evident among the managers and engineers.

4. A minimum of 15 references should be utilised within the report to show the source of the information presented, and should be drawn from a range of sources. (Use equal number of references from textbooks and websites) (Wikipedia will not be accepted as a reference.)

Also, please use the four decision model when tackling the decision making processes! (attached in the pdf file)

CHALLENGER SPACE PROJECT VIDEOS (this is the basis for the


report) Challenger: The Untold Story - a 10 part series A Lone Morton Thiokol Engineer tried to convince NASA and Thiokol management that their booster rocket is flawed. Both NASA and Thiokol ignore his warnings. The next day The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes over Florida and the Rogers Commission is formed to find out what exactly happened. Challenger: The Untold Story Part 1 of 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=qaZzRmpa1iA&feature=relmfu

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 2 of 10


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H3NfqP9438&feature=related

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 3 of 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?


v=3dgbRBdnhRY&feature=relmfu

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 4 of 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?


v=00oVqRR6YHo

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 5 of 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?


v=2xaxxQ8ayIw

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 6 of 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?

v=qmViyNlIpls&feature=relmfu

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 7 of 10


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV25ol-NedQ&feature=relmfu

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 8 of 10


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoqhz-j_smw&feature=relmfu

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 9 of 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?


v=L8AoMTxrD80&feature=relmfu

Challenger: The Untold Story Part 10 of 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?


v=lcAQPg0hh0w&feature=relmfu

Groupthink
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYpbStMyz_I

Groups naturally look for consensus and will often come up with a false consensus, even when individual members disagree. This video uses the space shuttle Challenger disaster to dissect this phenomenon and show how you can avoid it. Read the following to get you started: Linstead S, Fulop L, and Lilley S. 2009. Management and Organization: a critical text. (Ed. 2) Palgrave MacMillan London Chapter 14: 667-708 Romzek BS and Dubnick MJ. Accountability in the Public Sector: Lessons from the Challenger Tragedy. Public Administration Review Vol. 47, No. 3, May - Jun., 1987 Hirokawa, R et al. Understanding the Sources of Faulty Group Decision Making: A Lesson from the Challenger Disaster. Small Group Behavior, v19 n4 p411-33 Nov 1988