Roger Boisjoly as a major player
Roger Boisjoly is a major player in Space shuttle challenger case. He was a seal expert at Morton-Thiokol together with Arnold Thompson. These two seal experts explained to Morton-Thiokol and NASA representatives of the consequences temperature had on their mission. They explained and submitted to the engineers the effects that could result from the freezing temperatures that had been predicted for that night. He explained in depth how the flight would be interrupted by the temperatures.
He clearly stated how previously difficulties arose with the field joints on a weather that was cold. This case was predicted to be worse than the previous ones. Roger explained how the rings bulge even more in the cold weather and he stated the resultant effects. The temperature ranges that were needed for the rocket flight, Roger made sure that he made an outline on the same as well the requisite conditions. He actually tried his best to make NASA and his colleagues to understand that there was a safety problem that should have been attended to (Maier, 2005).
Roger tried to draw Morton-Thiokol’s attention to the fact that a safe operation was not stressed more. He achieved this by also talking his engineer colleagues into keenly looking at the rocket before it set off. Eventually, the engineers agreed with the seal experts, the Company was concerned with the negotiation process of the booster rocket contract renewal with NASA. Therefore, safety was the least of their concerns. The company’s priorities were up-side down. Hence, the workers’ safety should come before the renewal of the contract. Consequently the mission would be lost and there would be loss of lives which would be detrimental.
Most important things learnt.
The two very important things I learnt in Challenger case is avoiding conflict of interest, practicing team work and being ethical. The challenger case would not have if Morton-Thiokol would have had adverse effects if they prioritised the employees’ safety rather than renewal of the contract with NASA. This clearly brings out conflict of interest. Although, Morton-Thiokol was to participate in a mission that would earn them a contract renewal with NASA, they should have followed the advice granted to them by the Seal experts, astronauts and engineers (Johnsen, 2009).
In the process of decision making, the senior management should always involve the juniors, especially when making grand decisions. Decisions that affect the welfare of employees and their well-doing should mainly come from them. Well, the senior management may not take in all the employees’ ideas, but they can integrate some of them. Certainly, this will enable the managers to achieve better decisions. Thus little or no conflict of interest.
Additionally, team work is very key. For any organization, mission, project, or company to be successful, a culture of being a team player should be emphasized. In the long run this enhances team work and hence unity. If Morton-Thiokol had good team-work established then it would have taken the seal-expert’s and engineers’ advice and there would be no damage. The organization was ignorant since it did not institute good risk management measures (Howell, 2012).
In Ethical considerations involving human beings, always life has an upper-hand. Nothing should by-pass life. Therefore, if Morton-Thiokol was ethical it should not have put forward the contract renewal but the lives of the people involved in the mission. Every institution should have a code of ethics to govern it. If such a code was present, then it would be automatic that the mission would not have been conducted since the rocket was not in good condition, additionally, the weather had been predicted not to be favourable. Humanity should always be prioritised.
Howell, E. (2012, October 16). Challenger: Shuttle Disaster that changed NASA. Retrieved from space.com: http://www.space.com/18084-space-shuttle-challenger.html
Johnsen, M. A. (2009). Truth lies, and O-rings inside the space shuttle cahllenger disaster. University press of florida: Gainesville.
Maier, M. (2005). The major malfunction…..”the story behind the space shuttle Challenger disaster. New york: Binghamton, NY research Foundation of the State .