Knowledge Risk Management and the Challenger disaster


When tragic events happen that could have been prevented, we all want to know how and why they happened. One example is  that of the Challenger disaster. In 1986, a space shuttle called the Challenger blew up after takeoff killing those on board. In the aftermath, an investigation was done into the cause of the tragedy to see how and why it happened. Kumar and Chakrabarti look into this tragedy through the lens of bounded awareness and tacit knowledge as it pertains to decisions made by managements. Bounded awareness is experienced when decision makers “overlook relevant  and readily available information and take a decision that is either suboptimal or entirely erroneous” (Kumar and Chakrabarti, 2012, p. 935). We have all probably experienced bounded awareness at some point in our lives (at least, I know I have). We may not always make good decisions and often overlook or ignore information that could help…

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