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Gun Control

Adapted from Dr. Joanne B. Ciulla’s Critical Thinking and Methods of Inquiry course from Richmond University (2009).

1. In this paper, you will have to find a case where, as Dörner says, “things went wrong.” This may be the case of a misguided public policy, an accident, a decision made to improve something that actually made it worse or created another problem, or a well-intended but disastrous leadership decision. You may not use a decision from history. It has to be an event in the news that has occurred between Jan. 2012-present.
2. After you have an approved topic, you will do research on it. Then, using the concepts from the course materials, consider the following:

I. Description (25 points)
o What were the details of the problem that was being addressed?
o Who were the people involved in making the decision?
o What was the decision-making process?
o What emotions, values and motivations are evident in this decision or policy?
o What were the expected and desired results of the decision / policy?
o What was the climate of the organization, group, individual, etc. like when the decision was being made?

II. Analysis of the Failure (50 points) – Primary questions to focus on
o What type of mistake was this and to what type of work did this apply?
o Apply Edmonson’s Spectrum of Reasons for Failure to this event—what category or categories of error applies this event and why?
o Was there a blame game?
o What made the decision or policy fail?
o What were its side effects (Dorner 1996) or unintended consequences?
o Is there indication that the failure developed slowly?
o What emotions, values and motivations factored into the decision or policy failure?
o In retrospect, what was wrong with the planning and decision process?
o What was wrong with the way that people framed or modeled the problem?
o What was wrong with the way that people framed or modeled the solution?
o What if anything was wrong with the information they used? What issues or variables did they fail to take into consideration?

III. Discussion of How the Failure Might Have Been Prevented (25 points)
o Looking forward to the final presentation, consider what you’ve learned so far in our class and suggest ways this event might have been prevented.
o Is there any evidence of a culture of psychological safety?
o Any plan to create one or strengthen one that already exists

Category: Essays

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