political dimensions


The Challenger disaster is a classic case study for observing the political frame and the dynamics that create a potentially negative outcome. Sometimes data and other facts are overlooked in the decision-making process to instead deal with political pressures of other groups and/or coalitions. The general public has heard that the root cause of the space Challenger was due to O-ring failure. In the case study, you may have noticed the actual root cause of the Challenger disaster—the push for approval from a “managerial perspective.”

Review this week’s resources, including the Challenger case study in Chapter 7 of the course text, Reframing Organizations. After reading the case on the Challenger disaster, develop your initial post. (Note: Use Exhibit 6.1, “Organizations and Modes of Political Rule,” on p. 153 in the course text,Images of Organization.)

Post a response to the following:

  • Identify and explain the modes of political influences in the U.S. space shuttle Challengercase study (Chapter 9 in Bolman & Deal).
  • Describe the impact of inter-organizational politics between NASA and Thiokol.
  • Describe the impact to the ecosystem that NASA was operating in at the time of the U.S. space shuttle Challenger disaster.
  • Explain how you think managers could have prevented the failure of the space shuttleChallenger disaster. Do not fall for the hindsight fallacy that you could have known then what you know now. Rather, think about the circumstances and conditions that existed at the time of the decision and make recommendations that could have mitigated the outcome that would make sense in the context of the actual decision.

Note: Provide three academic resources in APA style and citation format to support your topic.





Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2013). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter 9, “Power, Conflict, and Coalition” (pp. 185–204)
  • Chapter 10, “The Manager as Politician” (pp. 205–223)

Morgan, G. (2006). Images of organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Chapter 6, “Interests, Conflict, and Power: Organizations as Political Systems” (pp. 149–206)
    • Exhibit 6.1, “Organizations and Modes of Political Rule” (p. 153)

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