The Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger accident: a management perspective Online publication date: Tue, 26-May-2009
by A.L. Minkes
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 3, No. 5, 1988
Abstract: In January 1986 seven crew members of the US Space Shuttle Challenger lost their lives in a major accident that has set back the shuttle programme. The Presidential Commission set up to investigate the accident has reported its findings, and this paper reviews Volume I of the Commission's report. In particular it deals with some of the management and organizational aspects of the decision to launch Challenger and with the Commission's recommendations for a return to safe flight. It illustrates the idea that while the immediate cause of the accident was a technical failure, there were management and informational factors which played a major part in the whole process. The author looks at ways of strengthening management structures in organizations which undertake large, highly-complex, technological projects.
Online publication date: Tue, 26-May-2009
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