Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Resources about NASA culture

This is taking me longer than I wanted.  I have said that NASA's civil servant culture (from the Contractor position) has looked like one of the best places for women to work. That's actually one of the reasons I want to work there. So I'm going to start out with some general comments about organization culture from my management coursework, and then provide links to some of the literature and stories that already exist and/or are coming soon.

The culture of any organization is influenced by the structure, the corporate / institutional culture, the work-group culture, the geographically local surrounding culture, and customer and supplier culture.  All of these, together, create subtle differences in individual experience. Houston is different from Huntsville, Boeing is different from Lockheed Martin.

There is a precedence for former engineers who have become writers, speakers, including Homer Hickam himself. I am considering that path, as I've seen openings and opportunities to write... but I am not ready to give up on my technical career yet.

For today, I'm going to point to existing resources:

1. NASA culture has been studied and discussed on at least two major occasions:

Additionally, the key book on the Challenger accident is Diane Vaughn's The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA

For those who wonder what marginalization vs. inclusion of diversity have to do with Safety, there is research showing a relationship.

2. There have been many books on the history of the U.S. space program:

While much of the literature focuses on the Apollo program, space shuttle and International Space Station non-fiction is also being published.
And then there's the rest of the story:
Updated 4/2/2015 to add:
Update 6/24/2015: