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ADMS 2610 (409)


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York University
Administrative Studies
ADMS 2610
Rebecca Jubis

Communication Failures Contributing to the Challenger Accident: An Example for Technical Communicators Abstract-Examination of the public documents available on the Challenger explosion shows that a history of miscommunication contributed to the accident. This miscommunication was caused by several factors, including managers and engineers interpreting data from different perspectives and the difficulty of believing and then sending had news, especially to superiors or outsiders. An understanding of the dynamics at work in the Challenger case can help engineers and engineering managers elsewhere reduce miscommunication in their own companies. the most important of which seem to be ( I ) managers and engineers viewing the same facts from different perspectives, and (2) the general difficulty of either sending or receiving bad news, particularly when it must be passed to superiors or outsiders. Communication about the solid rocket booster joint that failed was made more difficult because it was bad news. Research has repeatedly shown that bad news is often not passed upward in organizations. Moreover, even when bad news is sent, people are less li
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