The commander of the big-deck amphibious assault ship Essex was fired Monday due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to command,” a Navy spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Capt. Chuck Litchfield was commanding the Essex on May 16 when it collided with the replenishment oiler Yukon a day before both ships returned to San Diego. “There were a number of factors that contributed to the collision with Yukon,” Reese said. “Part of it began with the loss of rudder control. There was a breakdown in command and control, in bridge resource management and in communication between the two ships. … All those factors contributed to the collision.”
The problems “essentially began with the partial loss of rudder control,” she said.When did you last hear of a pharma or chemical industry manager being fired for job-related performance issues? While the life-and-death stakes are not as large, the financial costs to mismanaging a large project in industry is probably similar (or within an order of magnitude) to fixing "parts of the starboard elevator, lifeboats and catwalks... the flight deck and davits."
On a similar note, you are presented with 4 hypothetical people, one of whom you need to fire. Here are their profiles*:
Who would you dismiss? Via Bryan Caplan, here's how a study with a similar example worked out (I moved the years ahead to 2012, kept the ages and performance evals the same, and converted from pounds to dollars):
Who gets fired? Almost half the respondents make what sounds like the profit-maximizing decision - firing #3. But #2 is almost as popular, and almost 15% fire the older but excellent performer. (See the bottom row of Table 2 for details). More strikingly, though, answers vary radically by country... England fits the standard caricature of the "greedy" Anglo-American business model: over three-quarters fire #3. Germany is at the other extreme. Almost three-quarters fire worker #2, with worker #4 a distant runner-up. Spain is closest to England, with France and Italy about midway between England and Germany. In Italy, over 20% fire the excellent #4.Click on the link to find out why. (Culture and economics play a role in how these decisions are made, unsurprisingly.) Personally, I would have gone with ol' #3 myself, assuming that the performance evaluations are fair and believable. Hard to say, though.
Readers, what would you have done?