Resistance and Resilience,

 

Week 8 Discussion

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Challenges to Change: Resistance and Resilience

On Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia flew over a calm Texas sky in the early morning hours in preparation for its landing at the Kennedy Space in Florida. Tragically, the space shuttle split apart on reentry, costing the lives of all seven astronauts aboard. A 2-year study by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) revealed that NASA had failed to address organizational cultural issues that inevitably led them to ignore warning signs from safety engineers. Put simply, NASA employees exhibited resistance to change and leadership and had not implemented effective strategies for overcoming it.

Resistance and resilience are important concepts in change management. Resilience allows a system to retain its structure and function in the face of external and internal changes and challenges. For the astronauts aboard the shuttle Columbia, the failure of NASA to be resilient and overcome resistance to change had fatal consequences. In most public and nonprofit organizations, although the consequences might not be as dire, leaders must be effective in implementing organizational change and overcoming resistance or risk harming the public good they serve as their mission.

For this Discussion, read this week’s Learning Resources, including Howell (2013) on the Columbia disaster. If necessary, research other online articles related to the Columbia disaster in order to answer the Discussion.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 an explanation of how NASA’s failure to respond to change, such as internal operating procedures, lead to the Columbia disaster. In your explanation, describe how resistance to change affected the outcome. Then, using the example of your own or another organization with which you are familiar, explain one strategy for overcoming resistance to change and building in resilience, and explain why you chose this strategy.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources and other current literature in the Walden Library.

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