Case | HBS Case Collection | August 1996 (Revised October 1996)

Suzanne de Passe at Motown Productions (A1)

by Linda A. Hill and Jaan Elias


Illustrates: 1) the impact of a manager's leadership style on corporate culture, direction, and performance; 2) the concept of fit between leadership style and the requirements of situations in which managers find themselves; and 3) the need for managers to adapt their styles as situational requirements change. More specifically, it provides an opportunity to look at some of the special issues of: 1) being a black woman manager; 2) the advantages and disadvantages associated with a "family corporate culture"; and 3) managing in a creative business. Does not substantially differ from the (A) case, but it does emphasize more strongly Suzanne de Passe's success. Students have misunderstood the standards of the entertainment industry, and this case makes Motown's accomplishments clearer.

Keywords: Management Style; Race; Organizational Culture; Success; Leadership Style; Gender; Management Teams; Change Management; Situation or Environment; Creativity; Relationships; Music Industry; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;


Hill, Linda A., and Jaan Elias. "Suzanne de Passe at Motown Productions (A1)." Harvard Business School Case 497-015, August 1996. (Revised October 1996.)