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Vaughan, Diane (1951–)

DIANE VAUGHAN IS BEST known for her extensive work on the organizational deviance and the development of a general theory of the normalization of deviance. Much of her research explores mistakes and misdeeds that have resulted in disaster—the dark side of organizations. Her seminal work on the space shuttle disaster, The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, was published in 1996. Vaughan, along with millions of Americans, watched as the space shuttle exploded on national television. The tragedy prompted her search for an explanation of why the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) had failed to prevent the tragedy.

Vaughan's nine-year research endeavor found that common speculations that NASA had ignored potential risks were superficial at best. Based on over 200,000 pages ...

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