Ethics and Power – The Columbia Accident Case Study

Ethics and Power – The Columbia Accident Case Study (
For this assessment, you will reflect on the role that political influence plays in the internal decision-making of a public organization. Read the Columbia Accident case study on page 105 of your Stillman text and click Launch Presentation to view additional materials related to the case study.
Consider the questions that Stillman poses at the end of the case study:
*       How did the political environment influence the decision to launch the space shuttle Columbia? Who was involved and who was not?
*       What were the sources of the political pressure? Their points of view?
*       Who was the most responsible for the decision to launch the shuttle? How can one determine “responsible” or “irresponsible” use of administrative power? And ensure its “responsible” use?
*       List the reasons why the “political dimensions” are repeatedly overlooked or ignored? (Stillman, 2010, p. 105)
*       Finally, analyze how the RADAR model might speak to this situation.
Submit your paper to your instructor for grading.
Portfolio Prompt: You are required to save this learning activity to your ePortfolio under specialization outcomes 1 and 4.
Stillman, R. J., II. (Ed.). (2010). Public administration: Concepts and cases (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.
Ethics and Power – The Columbia Accident Case Study Scoring Guide
Due Date: End of Unit 5.


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Politics and Administration (250 words)
Discuss what you think are the most significant problems public administrators face when dealing with the relationship between administration and political influence. Support your discussion with examples as appropriate.
In addition, discuss the following questions from the Stillman text (page 106):
*       How does Long define administrative power?
*       Why is it important?
*       Are there any differences between administrative power and political power?
*       How is administrative power attained and maintained?