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Introduction, Situation Analysis, Instructions, Technical Background

Case 28 Storm at Sea

Setting: Bermuda Triangle; Your Position: Delivery Captain

For 20 years you have engaged in the business of transporting sailing yachts to their owners up and down the United States Atlantic coast. Demand is greatest for bringing vessels from the Caribbean to the Northeast in late spring and for transporting them down south in late fall. Insurance companies put stipulations on travel during the typical hurricane season, from the first of June to the first of November.

The boats which you deliver are generally in the 40- to 60-foot range, and you select a crew appropriate to the size of the vessel. You prefer to get people who have sailing experience but are reluctant to offer them anything more than food and free passage since that reduces your earnings.

It is now late May, and you left the Virgin Islands three days ago en route to New York City. The distance is 1,300 miles, and it should take you about 10 days, barring any major incident. The vessel is a 50-foot sloop and your "crew" is composed of a young woman who you met at a bar the night before departure and two young men who were hanging around the dock looking for a trip back home. All had professed to have sailing experience, but their claims proved to be greatly exaggerated. As a consequence, you have had to assume responsibility for virtually all aspects of the operation of the vessel.

For the first two days the weather was splendid, and the four of you had a great time getting acquainted with one another and with the operation of the vessel. However, the trip turned ugly when a fierce storm with gale-force winds came up from the southwest. After a 70-mph gust, you heard a snapping sound as the forestay gave way, and seconds later the mast and sails came crashing down. You are reassured to see that the life raft is still secured across the cabin. You are confident that the yacht's motor will start, although there is insufficient fuel to get you to Bermuda, which is 350 miles away. A decision must be made about what to do.

Your answer: Decide

Decision SignificanceHow important is the "quality" of the decision, i.e. to what extent does the decision have material, strategic impact on your clients or beneficiaries inside or outside of the organization. (click for details)   Group ExpertiseDoes the group collectively have the necessary knowledge to solve the problem and or make this decision? (click for details)
Importance of CommitmentTo what degree will the implementation of the decision require the support and cooperation of the group to be effective? (click for details)   Interaction ConstraintAre there time or geographic constraints which would prevent you from bringing the team together (physically or by telecom) to make the decision? (click for details)
Leader ExpertiseTo what extent do you, the leader, have the necessary knowledge to solve the problem or make this decision? (click for details)   Team Competence How competent is the group at working together as a team in solving problems or making decisions. The issue is not their factual or analytical technical knowledge, but rather their ability to work together synergistically. (click for details)
Likelihood of Commitment How likely is it that the group would accept your decision as the best course of action even though not included in the decision making process itself. (click for details)   Time/Dvpt PreferenceChoose the importance of time and development individually or use the values specified by either the Time or Development Driven model.(click for details)
Goal AlignmentTo what degree are the members of the group committed to the achievement of the oganization goals which are at stake in this decision? (click for details)      Value of TimeThe value of time varies with the number and intensity of other activities confronting you and your group. Considering your current workload, rate the value of time. (click for details)
Likelihood of DisagreementHow controversial is this decision likely to be among the members of the group? (click for details)      Value of DevelopmentHow important is it to you to develop the capabilities of your group or team, i.e. increasing their knowledge, their commitment to the organization, and their effectiveness in working together? (click for details)
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