Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier Has Changed the Way Big Companies Transform. Bill Fischer, Umberto Lago, Fang Liu. Jossey-Bass.

Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier Has Changed the Way Big Companies Transform Book Cover Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier Has Changed the Way Big Companies Transform
Bill Fischer, Umberto Lago, Fang Liu
April 15, 2013

Forward-thinking Chinese companies are reinventing their business models, their corporate cultures, and themselves to become global competitors who offer knowledge rather than cheap labor in their quest to join the ranks of the “world’s best” companies.

Reinventing Giants offers a behind-the-scenes profile of one of the most ambitious of these emerging Chinese competitors, the Haier Group – the world’s largest manufacturer of home appliances. The book reveals how Haier has repeatedly reinvented its business model and corporate culture in an effort to sustain its success. Haier’s success is not about impulsiveness, nor naïve philosophical longings, but about ambitious aspirations, strong inspirational leadership, careful strategic observation, detailed adjustments of managerial choices, and abundant trust in the power of employees to really take command of an organization’s fate. The authors demonstrate how a giant company of 80,000 employees transformed itself by embracing the contradictions of being simultaneously structured yet entrepreneurial, disciplined yet flexible, tactical yet strategic.

Reinventing Giants offers the critical information, lessons learned, and a substantive model for transforming any company grappling with competition in the global marketplace. The book shows how Haier’s  managerial accountability and responsibility have been repositioned at every level in the organization, while maintaining the core value of market-centricity. The authors include actual work reports in order to describe this process in detail from the ground up and emphasize how a belief in the liberation of employee talent has consistently been the driving force underlying Haier’s success.

Using Reinventing Giants as a guide, any organization can learn what it takes to open, sustain, and revitalize new markets on a global stage.

Bill Fischer is a professor of innovation management at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. Formerly he was executive president and dean of the China-Europe International business School in Shanghai and the Dalton L. McMichael Sr. Professor of business at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He writes The Ideas Business blog for

Umberto Lago is associate professor of Management at Bologna University in Italy. He has been, at different stages of his life (often simultaneously): a university professor, private and public manager, entrepreneur, and consultant. He is a member of UEFA Club Financial Control Body.

Fang Liu is a research associate at IMD. Her research focuses on fields such as management innovation, marketing, and global business.