Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2005 (Revised March 2006)

Change at Whirlpool Corporation (A)

by Jan W. Rivkin, Dorothy A. Leonard and Gary Hamel


In 1998, the CEO of Whirlpool Corp. decides to change the company's strategy significantly to escape an increasingly unattractive "stalemate" in the appliance industry. The change he proposes involves a fundamental shift in the company's focus--from manufacturing to branding--and requires the development of altogether new organizational capabilities. Examines the full range of adjustments that the CEO must lead his management team to make throughout all the functions of Whirlpool. Distinguishes itself from other cases on strategic change by examining the challenge of change in a company that is not in crisis (yet).

Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Change Management; Competitive Advantage; Strategic Planning; Production; Brands and Branding; Management Teams; Consumer Products Industry; United States;


Rivkin, Jan W., Dorothy A. Leonard, and Gary Hamel. "Change at Whirlpool Corporation (A)." Harvard Business School Case 705-462, April 2005. (Revised March 2006.)