Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2000

Dawn Riley at America True (C1)

by Linda A. Hill and Kristin Doughty


This version of the (C) case can be taught independently of the (A) and (B) cases. Dawn Riley, CEO/Captain of America True, the first coed syndicate to race for the America's Cup, is based in Auckland, New Zealand, where racing will begin in six weeks. Riley has built a culture focused on open communication and shared decision making. But the practice of consensus-based decision making does not seem to be working for two critical issues that have recently come up: a design question about the training boat and an issue about Riley's position on the boat. Riley wonders if it is time to step in. This case describes how Riley built the syndicate, provides information on the sailing and design program, and explores Riley's role as a "producing manager."

Keywords: Management Style; Leadership; Groups and Teams; Decision Making; Organizational Culture; Problems and Challenges; Gender; Management Teams; Sports; Business Startups; New Zealand; North and Central America;


Hill, Linda A., and Kristin Doughty. "Dawn Riley at America True (C1)." Harvard Business School Case 401-011, July 2000.