Haier: Organizing to Build Smart Products

Joost Minnaar
Written by Joost Minnaar May 04, 2022

Sometime last year, I worked with Professors Michael Lee and Wesley Koo on the development of a teaching case on Haier and its Rendanheyi model. The case was recently published by INSEAD — one of the world's leading (and largest) business schools. Check it out.

4485 1140x0

The case, titled "Haier: Organizing to Build a Smart Ecosystem Brand," describes the recent evolution of Haier’s radically decentralized, market-based organizing model known as Rendanheyi.

In the case, we explore how the latest evolution of the Rendanheyi model supports Haier’s newest strategy of creating a platform ecosystem of interconnected products and services that adapt intelligently to a user's needs.

Teaching objectives

The teaching case introduces students to key topics in both organizational design and tech ecosystems.

On INSEAD's website, we advocate that the case 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 galvanizes 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.

Interested to learn more about the case? Take a look at INSEAD's website and check out our teaching case.

Haier: Organizing to Build Smart Products
Click to tweet

Corporate Rebels Academy

Haier and its Rendanheyi model is also a key case at our own Corporate Rebels Academy. Check it out!.

Written by Joost Minnaar
Joost Minnaar
Co-founder Corporate Rebels. My daily focus is on research, writing, and anything else related to making work more fun.
Read more
Sep 17, 2023
Intelligent Failures vs. Costly Mistakes: Navigating the Innovation Paradox
Amy Edmondson Written by Amy Edmondson
Do the words “failure" and "intelligent” even belong in the same sentence? Sure, “fail fast, fail often” is practically the motto of…
Read more
Sep 03, 2023
The Purpose Dance: Shared and Individual Beats at the Heart of Organizational Impact
Marc-Peter Pijper Written by Marc-Peter Pijper
My wife and I, accompanied by our friends, often enjoy attending music festivals. What unites us is our mutual love for live music and the…
Read more
Aug 20, 2023
Scaling the Right Way: Clarasys' Path Forward with Progressive Principles
Klara Nenadlova Written by Klara Nenadlova
At Clarasys, our core purpose is to make a lasting difference to the way how people work, live, and grow. As an independent consultancy…
Read more
Jun 14, 2023
Steward-ownership: Choosing Purpose Over Profit
Gijsbert Koren Written by Gijsbert Koren
This post is part of an ongoing series with inspiring stories about steward-owned companies that are changing the game. Steward-ownership…
Read more
May 11, 2023
Map of Meaning: Change The Meaning of Work Instead Of Organizational Structure
Pim de Morree Written by Pim de Morree
'Why am I here'? Ever wondered that, at work? How much you value the answer to that question, can be outlined with the map of meaning. Read…
Read more
May 03, 2023
The Power of Pre-Approval: How Trust and Freedom can Drive Innovation
HappyHenry Written by HappyHenry
Do you have managers who ask their employees to come up with solutions to problems or new ways of working, and then require approval at the…
Read more
Read all articles

Download: Free Guide

Unlock our in-depth guide on trends, tools, and best practices from over 150 pioneering organizations.

Subscribe below and receive it directly in your inbox.

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.