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Haier: Organizing to Build a Smart Ecosystem Brand

Published 14 Mar 2022
Reference 6724
Region Asia
Summary

This case describes the recent evolution of Haier’s radically decentralized, market-based organizing model, Rendanheyi, and explores how its evolution supports Haier’s strategy of creating a platform ecosystem of interconnected products and services that adapts ‘intelligently’ to users’ needs.

Teaching objectives

This case introduces students to key topics in organizational design and tech ecosystems. It can be used in the following settings: - A core course on organizational behavior to highlight traditional organization design concepts, such as the link between strategy and structure, and the trade-offs between internal competition and collaboration while exploring less hierarchical forms of organizing. - A specialized class on organizational design to explore radically decentralized organizational designs that incorporate market dynamics within the boundaries of a traditional firm, and the related benefits and tensions that arise. - A strategy core course and electives on technology strategy to teach ecosystem strategy, where the prime objective is to understand how different technologies work together to deliver a coherent experience for the end user, and how an ecosystem leader galvanises complementors (both external and internal) to make that happen. - A marketing class, to teach the novel concept of ecosystem brands where companies utilize a combination of products and services to create a joint value proposition.

Keywords
  • Organization design
  • Organization structure
  • Market-based design
  • Decentralization
  • Flat structures
  • Innovation
  • Agility
  • Ecosystems
  • Platforms
  • Smart products
  • Strategy
  • Ecosystem Brands
  • Q12022