Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, Enlarged Edition
Author: Diane Vaughan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Technology & Engineering
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. Diane Vaughan recreates the steps leading up to that fateful decision, contradicting conventional interpretations to prove that what occurred at NASA was not skullduggery or misconduct but a disastrous mistake. 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. In a new preface, Vaughan reveals the ramifications for this book and for her when a similar decision-making process brought down NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.
For the first time in history, a teacher was going to outerspace. All eyes were focused on the doomed flight of the space shuttle Challenger. A heart-breaking seventy-three seconds into lift-off, the Challenger caught aflame and broke apart. This volume details the events of January 28, 1986, which resulted in the death of seven astronauts. Readers are provided with background information on the tragedy, while examining related controversies. Readers are also given personal narratives from those who witnessed or were involved in the disaster.
Disastrous High-Tech Decision Making: From Disasters to Safety offers new insights for scholars studying management, decision making, cognition in the wild, and safety in the context of imperatives to continue operations. This book takes you inside the deliberations and action that have produced high-tech disasters in safetycritical enterprises. From primary data and analyses never before considered in scholarly assessments of the Challenger disaster, Frederick F. Lighthall, Professor Emeritus at The University of Chicago, applies the insights of macroergonomics, social psychology, naturalistic decision making, and legal argumentation to this expanded set of documents and data. He argues that the Challenger case represents a prototype of decision making that arises whenever a possibly threatening change in operating conditions becomes evident. In this situation, inevitable in boundarypushing enterprises, four generic decision-making pitfalls await engineers and managers who must decide whether continuing to operate is safe or dangerous. These four decision-making vulnerabilities are also evident, Lighthall argues, in the decision situations of other high-tech disasters both similar (the Columbia shuttle) and dissimilar (Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster). In Part I of the book Lighthall traces decision participants’ chart-by-chart deliberations and argument about whether proceeding with the Challenger’s launch would be dangerous. Part II analyzes from contrasting perspectives the dynamics revealed in the narrative. Lighthall’s analysis ends by examining the demanding changes in outlook, knowledge disciplines, and learning processes required for safety to compete with the production imperatives of high-tech enterprises operating in unforgiving environments. This book is a must read both for students of management and of engineering who may find themselves working in these high-tech settings, and for managers and engineers who now work in these settings.
Reviews the circumstances surrounding the Challenger accident to establish the probable cause or causes of the accident. Develops recommendations for corrective or other action based upon the Commission1s findings and determinations. Color photos, charts and tables.
For a free 30-day online trial to this title, visit www.sagepub.com/freetrial This two-volume set is designed to serve as a reference source for anyone interested in the roots of contemporary criminological theory. Drawing together a team of international scholars, it examines the global landscape of all the key theories and the theorists behind them, presenting them in a context needed to understand their strengths and weaknesses. The work provides essays on cutting-edge research as well as concise, to-the-point definitions of key concepts, ideas, schools, and figures. Topics include contexts and concepts in criminological theory, the social construction of crime, policy implications of theory, diversity and intercultural contexts, conflict theory, rational choice theories, conservative criminology, feminist theory, and more. Key ThemesThe Classical School of CriminologyThe Positivist School of CriminologyEarly American Theories of CrimeBiological and Biosocial Theories of CrimePsychological Theories of CrimeThe Chicago School of CriminologyCultural and Learning Theories of CrimeAnomie and Strain Theories of Crime and DevianceControl Theories of CrimeLabeling and Interactionist Theories of CrimeTheories of the Criminal SanctionConflict, Radical, and Critical Theories of CrimeFeminist and Gender-Specific Theories of CrimeChoice and Opportunity Theories of CrimeMacro-Level/ Community Theories of CrimeLife-Course and Developmental Theories of CrimeIntegrated Theories of CrimeTheories of White-Collar and Corporate CrimeContemporary Gang TheoriesTheories of Prison Behavior and InsurgencyTheories of Fear and Concern About Crime
This is a pioneering work. Recent disasters such as the tsunami disaster continue to demonstrate Professor Allinson’s thesis that valuing human lives is the core of ethical management. His unique comparison of the ideas of the power of Fate and High Technology, his penetrating analysis of the very concept of an "accident", demonstrate how concepts rule our lives. His wide-ranging investigation of court cases and government documents from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, and from places as diverse as the USA, UK and New Zealand provide ample supporting evidence for the universality and the power of explanation of his thesis. Saving Human Lives will have an impact beyond measurement on the field of management ethics.
The notion of organizational culture has become a matter of central importance with the great increase in the size of organizations in the twentieth century and the need for managers to run them. Like morale in the military, organizational culture is the great invisible force that decides the difference between success and failure and serves as the key to organizational change, productivity, effectiveness, control, innovation, and communication. Memory as a Moral Decision, provides a historical review of the literature on organizational culture. Its goal is to investigate the kind of world conceptualized by those who have described organizations and the kind of moral world they have in fact constructed, through its ideals and images, for the men and women who work in organizations. Feldman builds his analysis around a historically grounded concept of moral tradition. He demonstrates a central insight: when those who have written on organizational culture have addressed issues of ethics, they have ignored the past as a foundation to stabilize and maintain moral commitments. Instead, they have fluctuated between attempts to base ethics on executive rationality and attempts to escape the suffocating logic of rationalism. After an opening chapter defining the concept of moral tradition, Feldman focuses on early works on organizational management by Chester Barnard and Melville Dalton. These define the tension between ethical rationalism and ethical relativism. He then turns to contemporary frameworks, analyzing critical organizational theory and the "new institutionalism." In the final chapters, Feldman considers ethical relativism in contemporary thinking, including postmodern organization theory, the exaggerated drive for diversity, and such concepts as power/knowledge and deconstructionism. Memory as a Moral Decision is unique in its understanding of organizational culture as it relates to past, present, and future systems. Its interdisciplinary approach uses the insights of sociology, psychology, and culture studies to create an invaluable framework for the study of ethics in organizations. Steven P. Feldman is associate professor of management policy at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of The Culture of Monopoly Management: An Interpretive Study in an American Utility.