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Haier Company’s Organisational Routines Changes Essay

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Updated: Jun 25th, 2021

The article by Chen, Ouyang, and Pan (2013) offers a case analysis of Haier, a Chinese manufacturing company. The authors outline the change background in the introductory section of the report, explaining the challenges faced by the company. Whereas many other businesses were pursuing e-commerce efforts, Haier did not begin to implement an e-commerce strategy until 2010. A significant part of the company’s e-commerce efforts required changing its organisational routines, which proved to be a significant challenge to the organisation. The report addresses the change of order distribution routine using feedback and portrays the role of feedback in the routine change process, focusing on the case of Haier.

The changing scenario reviewed in the study is rather new and has limited coverage in research. Thus, the theoretical foundation for the change was limited and largely based on assumptions. The authors describe some theories surrounding the change of organisational routines. For instance, they explain the importance of changing routines and show that the vast share of past researches considers routines as dynamic concepts that are subject to change (Chen et al., 2013). Based on this perspective on organisational routines, the authors theorise that continuous feedback on organisational routines can help companies to shape them in a way that will benefit performance. On the whole, the theoretical background of change provided by the authors is rather limited. The authors provide insufficient information on the concept of feedback and fail to explain the theoretical framework of their research. The report would benefit from a detailed exploration of the concept of feedback and its application to organisational change.

The authors review the use of feedback on the change of routines in Haier, thus explaining how the change was managed. Chen et al. (2013) explained that changing the order distribution routine was imperative to the success of the company, as the old scheme of order distribution was unsuitable for e-commerce. An initial routine refinement was used to enable online delivery and then evaluated to generate feedback. The feedback revealed that the existing routine was still insufficient for the organisation’s goals, and thus the company launched a series of IT changes and upgrades to further improve the routine (Chen et al., 2013). The second feedback on the refined routine included suggestions from users, which were used by the management to improve the order distribution routine even further. The management also focused on developing the capacity for 24-hour shipping in order to remain competitive in the e-commerce market. This process followed a similar set of steps and was altered based on the feedback received.

Overall, the change at Haier was successful, and it enabled the company to ensure a stable presence in the e-commerce market. Besides, the change demonstrated the impact of feedback on the routine change process, thus informing future routine change efforts and research on the topic. Nevertheless, the change did have some challenges. It was a rather lengthy process that required considerable resources from the company and its employees. In addition, the authors’ review of the case presented limited information regarding the change process. One opportunity to improve the article would be to enhance the theoretical framework of the change and to include more resources describing past studies on the topic. Strengthening the theoretical foundation of the case study would have helped the authors to provide appropriate recommendations for companies seeking to implement similar routine changes.

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