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Responding to Groupthink and Faulty Reasoning at NASA - Case Study Example

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Responding to Groupthink and Faulty Reasoning at NASA

From this paper it is clear that if group members have doubts but lack appropriate evidence to support their position, their doubts and concerns should still be communicated to authorized personnel who have the competencies and qualifications to evaluate the matter and substantiate whether there are valid support for the doubts. The important thing is that the concern has been effectively communicated and relayed to higher authorities. The reporter stresses  "if I were head of NASA, I would have launched a rescue shuttle in as far as I am confident that the second shuttle would not meet the same fatal accident regarding the first foam strike that happened with Columbia. I would also solicit as much information as evidently possible to determine alternative courses of action where the Columbia crew could make it back to Earth as innovatively possible.  As indicated, NASA has followed these steps to change its culture and to resist groupthink: safety worries are encouraged to be communicated and are not out rightly dismissed; teams of engineers conduct simulations on diverse scenarios to assist in addressing problems and concerns; cross-checking of interventions, suggestions and recommendations from one team of engineers are validated by another group of engineers from a different research center to avoid group think and to encourage taking diverse perspectives; worst case scenarios are proactively established including establishment of contingency plans in these situations. If these changes and activities are continued to encourage innovative thinking, the agency could indeed continue with its progress. Progress could be slow at first but it is always better to be slow than sorry. " ...Show more


This paper declares that the people at NASA who questioned the safety of the Columbia mission but kept their doubts to themselves and those who failed to communicate their safety concerns to NASA’s top management are as much to be blamed for the deaths of the seven astronauts…
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