Lessons learned or lessons noted: A retrospective case study of the stored organizational memory of the causes of mishaps in NASA
This study of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) organizational memory explores how the root causes of NASA mishaps have changed from the creation of NASA in 1958 through 2002. Official Mishap Board Reports document in stored organizational memory the organization's analyses of the causes of the mishaps. Using Parsons' Social Action Theory for its theoretical frame, and the Schwandt Organizational Learning Systems Model as the theoretical lens, this study provides a meta-analysis of 112 Type A mishap reports to discern what patterns in this stored organizational memory have emerged over time. Results indicate marked stability in the causes of mishaps until the latter portion of the study period. The theory of revolutionary change is considered to explain this apparent shift. Discussion includes the roles organizational culture, sensemaking and identity played in data collection and knowledge management challenges as well as in the lack of change in mishap causes.
0617: Public administration
0624: Occupational psychology
0538: Aerospace materials