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Navigating toward team success

Wolfgang Jenewein (University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Felicitas Morhart (University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to outline a set of principles which enable companies and managers to effectively handle people as a resource and allow them to turn teams into high performance teams.


The Alinghi sailing team's approach to establishing and managing a high performance team was explored by means of an ethnographic case study. The development, organization and leadership principles of the team were subjected to intense scrutiny. This was done by interviewing the key players in the different areas (sailing crew, design team and management) at different stages, by observation of the group at work and video analyses. To substantiate the findings from interviews and observations, workshops with team members and experts were organized.


The Swiss Alinghi sailing team was the undisputed winner of the famous America's Cup in 2003 and managed to defend it successfully in July 2007 – against strong competition. The principles implemented by team founder Ernesto Bertarelli also offer a valuable model for managers.


The study is a useful tool for companies and managers who wish to create and manage high performance teams.



Jenewein, W. and Morhart, F. (2008), "Navigating toward team success", Team Performance Management, Vol. 14 No. 1/2, pp. 102-108.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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