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    Resistance to Change in NASA

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    On the Columbia accident.

    · Identify individual sources of resistance to change, and their causes.

    · Identify structural sources of resistance to change, and their causes

    · Evaluate the impact that you believe the Board's recommendations will have on individual and structural barriers to change at NASA.

    * How well will those recommendations help overcome resistance to change? * What else would you recommend be done to help avoid and/or overcome resistance to change at NASA?

    * Use a simple diagram (such as a Fishbone diagram (Force Field Analysis) or a process visual) to highlight important factors.

    * Use headings and subheadings to clearly show the structure of your analysis.


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    Solution Preview

    Return to the reading on the Columbia accident.

    Change Management can be defined as a systematic approach to dealing with change, both from the perspective of an organization and on the individual level. A somewhat ambiguous term, change management has at least three different aspects, including: adapting to change, controlling change, and effecting change (,http://www.searchsmb.techtarget.com/Definition, 2007). A proactive approach to dealing with change is at the core of all three aspects. For an organization, change management means defining and implementing procedures and/or technologies to deal with changes in the business environment and to profit from changing opportunities (http://www.associatedcontent.com, 2007)
    Let us discuss the sources of resistance to change:
    We may face the following resistance in implementing the project:
    Culture bias among employees.
    When confronted with a new team or group and faced with certain cues as to how to behave, individuals rely on the behavior that has been learned from their own culture (Thomas, J., 1999). Some of the characteristics of this mechanism can be damaging if it is used as standards without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group. This can be damaging because it marginalizes people outside of the dominant culture. Cultural Composition is the number of different cultures in the work group. This composition can have negative or positive effects; negative effects because of increased process losses. One reason could be because of difficulty in communicating. Employees and management can be trained to understand the cultural bias of each team member and their impact on mutual perceptions. Behaviors and communication style fail in some cultures; thus identifying approaches to address cultural gaps that could lead to misunderstandings. Such as issues about team decision-making, giving or receiving feedback and conflict resolution (Human Resources Magazine, 2005).

    - Identify individual sources of resistance to change, and their causes.

    A. Employees
    1. Top Management
    2. Other levels of management
    3. Staff members

    As discussed in the earlier the management is one of the important factors of the resistance to the change due to lack of committed leadership. The event happened which was not anticipated by the organization though engineers were greatly concerned about possible problems but these concerns were not properly communicated to or understood by senior NASA managers. Thus top management were not ready to change due to their bureaucratic mindset.
    II. Scarcity of financial resources
    Lack of money and reduced budgetary support also led to the resistance. We should understand that throughout the decade, the Shuttle Program has had to function within an increasingly constrained budget. Both the Shuttle budget and workforce have been reduced by over 40 percent during the past decade. As a result, there was little margin in the budget to deal with unexpected technical problems or make Shuttle improvements.
    Previously, safety and support upgrades were delayed or deferred, and Shuttle infrastructure was allowed to deteriorate. Hence financial scarcity of resources also led to the dilution of focus on safety matters.

    A mission statement is the statement that explains what action a company will do in order to achieve the company's goals and mission. Considering the nature of a mission statement, therefore, a mission statement should be clear and concise and should avoid being verbose since it might lead to different implementation. However, the mission statement should clearly describe what will be done, by whom, for whom, and why (Answers Corporation, 2006).
    The mission of the program is also not clear. The Shuttle was originally intended to launch once a week and give low launch costs through ...

    Solution Summary

    Over 2000 words explains important factors in overcoming the structural resistance to change in NASA after the Columbia accident.