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Building a Global Responsive Organization: The Case of the Haier Group

The Responsive Global Organization

ISBN: 978-1-78714-832-1, eISBN: 978-1-78714-831-4

Publication date: 23 August 2017


This chapter outlines the philosophic underpinnings of the self-management paradigm developed over the past three decades by China’s Haier Group, a global leader in white goods. The successful transformation of Haier from a small resource-poor firm to a dominant global giant is often attributed to the self-management culture established in the company by its legendary leader Zhang Ruimin. This management paradigm is a function of the humbleness displayed by Mr. Zhang Ruimin and rooted in his strong belief in the traditional Chinese philosophy of I-Ching and Daoism. We show how the hexagram of Qian (“qian”: humbleness, modesty) from I-Ching is linked to Mr. Zhang’s humble approach and analyze how the six parts of the hexagram of Qian are related to the six development stages of the Haier Group. These insights are used to give some thoughts to the leadership challenge associated with the creation of a dynamic and responsive global organization.




Dr. Xinbo Sun would like to thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China for funding his research project ‘The research on synergistic motivational mechanism based on crowdsourcing enabled by Internet (No. 71672029, from 2017.1 to 2020.12). Dr. Yi Cao thanks the Capital University of Economics and Business of China (CUEB) for financial support for his research through the 2017 postgraduate education reform program (No. 00191754310103). Dr. Xin Li is grateful to the Danish Carlsberg Foundation for funding his postdoctoral research project titled ‘An inquiry into the survival and international success of resource-poor firms from China’ (grant ID: CF15-0270).


Sun, X., Cao, Y., Li, S. and Li, X. (2017), "Building a Global Responsive Organization: The Case of the Haier Group", Andersen, T.J. (Ed.) The Responsive Global Organization (Emerald Studies in Global Strategic Responsiveness), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 149-168.



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