Explore Mr. Zhang Ruiming’s leadership and its effectiveness


1.0 Introduction and company background 2

2.0 Leadership traits and behaviors as well as leadership effectiveness 3

2.1 Leadership traits 4

2.2 Leadership behaviors 6

2.3 Leadership effectiveness and performance 7

2.3.1 Leadership style 7

2.3.2 Evaluation 9 Theoretical effectiveness 9 Practical effectiveness 10

3.0 Four frame model 13

3.1 Definition 13

3.2 Analysis 13

3.2.1 The structural frame 13

3.2.2 The human resource frame 15

3.2.3 The political frame 17

3.3.4 The symbolic frame 18

3.3 Summary 19

4.0 Justification and recommendation on leadership practice 20

4.1 Justifications 20

4.2 Recommendations 23

5.0 Reference 24

Charts and tables

Table 1.0 Personal trait for leaders…………………………………………………….5

Table 2.0 Level 5 hierarchy of leaders……………………………………………….24

Chart 1.0 The situational theory of Hersey and Blanchard……………………………9

Chart 2.0 Financial performance of Haier from 2006 to 2010……………………………….13

Chart 3.0 The organizational chart of Haier group…………………………………..16

Chart 4.0 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs………………………………………………18

1.0 Introduction and company background

Haier was incorporated in the year of 1984 in Qingdao, China, which has become the top white goods brand till now in Chinese market. Besides its success in China, Haier has also build a good reputation in the world market as a Chinese enterprise to offer customers all over the world with the high quality white goods, taking a large market weight in the household appliance products industry (Haier 2010).

Haier has built up a series of bases with different functions to support its development and global expansion including 29 bases of manufacturing, 8 centers for product research and development, 19 trading companies in charge of its oversea business with the support of over 6,000 employees overall the world (Haier 2010). Furthermore, its business networks such as the marketing networks, product research and development networks, product distribution networks and so on have always been well established and maintained in different regions of the world including China, America, Italy, Thailand and so on (Sheng & Ye 2011).

Till the beginning of 2009, Haier was regarded as the world No.1 white goods manufacturer, taking up about 5.1% market share in the global market by the famous research organization named Euromonitor in the consumption market area (Sheng & Ye 2011). It is also the first time for a Chinese brand to enjoy such a good fame in the world market for so many years. Besides, the star products of Haier including the refrigerator and washing machine also occupy the largest market share of 10.4% as well as 8.4% respectively in the global market compared to other multinational brands (Sheng & Ye 2011).

By and large, Haier’s brand value was estimated more than 81.2 billion. As a matter of fact, from the year of 2002, this company has already ranked the top among the most valuable brand list. And to 2010, Haier even became the only one Chinese enterprise to enter “the list of 50 Most Innovative Enterprises in the world” (Sheng & Ye 2011).

When evaluating such kind of good performance of Haier, we can’t ignore its outstanding leader whose name is Zhang Ruiming. As the CEO of Haier, he has been making great contribution to this company to turn it from a small refrigerator making factory which was approximate to bankrupt into a world No.1 white goods manufacturer today (Sheng & Ye 2011).

In this paper, we will develop a relatively thorough exploration on the leadership and its effectiveness of Mr. Zhang Ruiming as the CEO of Haier Group for so many years, which will include the statement of his leadership traits and behaviors, performance, effectiveness, different aspects of leadership performance based on the Bolman and Deal’s four frames model as well as some suggestions on such kind of leadership on the basis of its actually influence in the short and long term run for Haier Group.

2.0 Leadership traits and behaviors as well as leadership effectiveness

2.1 Leadership traits

Sugarman (n.d) defined that leadership traits refers to the leaders’ distinguishing characteristics which own the content of high intelligence level, honest quality, self-confidence and sometimes even includes the appearance. At the same time there are six main elements defined by Daft (2010) as the important characteristics for a leader including the physical characteristics, intelligence and ability characteristics, personality characteristics, social characteristics, work related characteristics as well as social background ( see table 1.0).

Table 1.0 Personal trait for leaders

Physical Characteristics Intelligence and Ability Characteristics Personality Characteristics
  • energy

physical stamina


cognitive ability




  • self-confidence
  • honesty
  • integrity
  • enthusiasm
  • desire to lead
  • independence
Social Characteristics

Work Related Characteristics

Social Background
  • sociability
  • interpersonal skills
  • cooperativeness
  • ability to enlist
  • cooperation
  • tact
  • diplomacy
achievement to drive

desire to excel

conscientiousness in goals pursuit

persistence against obstacles

tenacity of leaders


  • mobility

Source: Daft 2010, new era of management

Based on the leadership traits theory, we are able to summarize the leadership traits of Mr. Zhang Ruiming as the CEO of Haier Group in four main aspects.

Firstly, regarding the intelligence and ability traits of Mr. Zhang, we may easily find he annotates them so thoroughly in Haire Group. Mr. Zhang is an outstanding leader, who is so wise, knowledgeable, visionary and resolute. There are so many evidences to prove these traits of him (Yi & Ye 2005). For instance, at the beginning of the transformation period of Haier, Mr. Zhang didn’t hesitate instead he ordered to ruin the 70 refrigerators when they found there were some small quality problem in these products in order to protect the high quality image Haier was planned to build in Chinese market at that time. Meanwhile, when facing the great success of Haier in the home market, Mr. Zhang was so resolute and visionary to lead Haier to begin its globalization road with a full analyzing of the developing potential of Haier group in the future (Yi & Ye 2005).

Secondly, in the personality trait aspect, the qualities possessed by Mr. Zhang are also worth mentioning. Mr. Zhang is so confident and enthusiastic towards his career. Let’s have a look at these evidences. When asking him why implement the global expansion strategy for Haier group, he stated that every dreamer own the right to make the dream come true (Zhang 2012). Such kind of confidence and passion create these necessary traits for an outstanding leader for Haier Group.

Thirdly, in terms of the social characteristics traits, Mr. Zhang also possesses these necessary traits as a leader. The well-developed interpersonal skill is such kind of a typical trait for him. For instance, the decision to ruin these 70 refrigerators with quality problem indicated that there would be a great loss of Haier in its beginning and such kind of great loss may even make Haier return to the tough period as the previous time (Yi & Ye 2005). While as Mr. Zhang is so persuasive and smart, he successfully persuaded all of the employees to accept and implement such kind of decision to break these problem refrigerators by their own, which shows the social trait of Mr. Zhang as the leader (Yi & Ye 2005).

At last, Mr. Zhang also possesses the trait in his work-related area. He expressed a high level of responsibility and ethics as both a leader and Chinese citizen that he refused the attractive offer from a big multinational corporate to merge Haier Group by a great sum of money with only one requirement that was to change the name of Haier as this company preferred (Yi & Ye 2005). As Mr. Zhang stated later, it is the responsibility of Haier as the Chinese enterprise to realize its prosperity in the global market and make the entire world know that “made in China” means good quality. Therefore, to realize such kind of dream possessed by so many Chinese entrepreneurs, he as the leader of Haier refused such kind of great temptation (Zhang 2012).

2.2 Leadership behaviors

According to As Hughes, et al. (2006), leadership behaviors often refer to the functions produced by these specialties possessed by leaders such as the intelligence of leaders, their personal traits, the emotional intelligence level of leaders, leaders’ perspectives, values, beliefs, educational background, knowledge, experience of working as well as living and so on. According to the leadership practices of Mr. Zhang, we are able to summarize the following leadership behaviors of him in Haier Group.

Firstly, Mr. Zhang as the leader offers his subordinates a variety of chances to improve their competitiveness. For instance, when the decision made by the management if Haier to expand overseas, Mr. Zhang gave such kind of chance with also full of challenges to two young graduates, who were regarded as potential and qualified to afford such kind of burden, although they were young and lacking in experience (Li 2007).

Secondly, referring to the management practice area, Mr. Zhang has been fostering a special corporate culture to be fit for the developing trend of Haier Group, which is defined as the “Haier way” (Sun 2002). The Haier way culture is to support Haier to foster the win-win culture which takes all of its stakeholders into full consideration so as to maintain the sustainable growth of Haier at the present and future time. For instance, Haier continues to support the development of its employees in the enterprising and innovative direction so as to make all employees committed to create value for their customers by different operations independently in different areas and meanwhile also enable each employee to realize their values for both Haier and themselves. That is to say, under the “Haier way culture”, employees are nurtured to shift from being managed and motivated to be self-managed as well as motivated. In word, such kind of culture strategy may be defined as a human oriented management strategy for Haier (Sun 2002).

Thirdly, in the subculture development practices, Mr. Zhang also performed specially. In the overseas development, Mr. Zhang also tries his best to build and foster a subculture with both Chinese characteristics and high level of compatibility to these foreign cultures, which owns great competitiveness (Sun 2002). For example, in Haier’s developing road in the USA, Mr. Zhang devoted a lot of time to observe the working styles and cultures of these American employees in Haier’s American factory. He found when maintaining the traditional Chinese culture such as moderate and responsible in Haier, it was also necessary to promote an open, positive as well as the spirit to be brave to show yourself in these western bureaus of Haier to respect the culture and working styles of employees own different backgrounds (Sun 2002). Therefore, in the following overseas expansion practice, Haier Group has been performing very tolerate to these positive cultures of the foreign markets under the leader of Mr. Zhang.

2.3 Leadership effectiveness and performance

2.3.1 Leadership style

According to Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory (Daft 2008), there are four types of leadership for leaders in organizations which is based on the followers’ readiness level. In chart 1.0, it shows four types of leadership styles including the telling, selling, participating as well as the delegating.

Chart 1.0 The situational theory of Hersey and Blanchard

chart 1.0


On the basis of the situational theory as well as these leadership behaviors performed by Mr. Zhang, we may be able to figure out the readiness level of people in Haier Group first. As Haier’s processor was already a white goods making factory, which indicates that these original employees in Haier own these job required skills and knowledge as well as working experience but the former performance of their people were seemed poor. Therefore, we may define that the readiness level of employees in Haier Group as the level S3 that people own the job required knowledge, skills and experience but they may be somewhat insecurity about their working abilities or low level of willingness to perform better (Daft 2008). Based on such kind of readiness level of employees, Hersey and Blanchard recommend leaders to adopt the participating leadership style, which is built up on the combination of a great care for people and the relationship building and maintenance while a relatively low level of concern on production tasks (Daft 2008). That is to say, the participative leader often share ideas with his subordinates, offers them opportunities to take part in the decision making and so on.

From the leadership behaviors of Mr. Zhang, we may define that the leadership style of him as the participating style that he gave his subordinates so many support and chances to develop their competiveness.

2.3.2 Evaluation Theoretical effectiveness

Therefore, we may evaluate that the leadership style adopted by Mr. Zhang is so effective. That is to say, as the participating leader of Haier, Mr. Zhang is effective.

From the theoretical aspect, his leadership style is so fit for the readiness level of his subordinates who are skillful, well-educated and experienced but insecure towards their ability or lack of willingness, Mr. Zhang acted so positively to build the good relationship with them to offer them a variety of chance to develop so as to build the self-confidence and improve their competitiveness, which is defined by Hersey and Blanchard as the most suitable leadership style towards the readiness level of employees.

Firstly, it can improve the confidence of employees towards their ability, which enables the origination to gain more effective support from the employees’ better performance (Daft 2008). Secondly, the good relationship building makes these skillful and experienced who are unwilling to perform better work with higher level of passion and morale to assist their company to improve the productivity level. Therefore, from the theoretical aspect, the leadership performance of Mr. Zhang is effective (Daft 2008).

On the other hand, from the practical aspect, the leadership behaviors and traits possessed by Mr. Zhang also contribute relatively high level of performance and effectiveness. Practical effectiveness

Frankly speaking, the great contribution made by Mr. Zhang to Haier is to turn this organization from a poor performed factory approximate to bankrupt into a world famous white goods manufacturer. He is an outstanding change agent for Haier Group.

According to Stevenson (2008), the change agent refers to the behavior scientist possessing the ability to maximize the capability of people as well as assist his or her organization to smoothen the development via the support of good knowledge of human behaviors as well as techniques such as intervention. Therefore, we can also define Mr. Zhang as the change agent of Haier Group to lead it to the road of success.

As a matter of fact, the leadership effectiveness of Mr. Zhang as the change agent of Haier also stays at a high level. In the following we are able to see the effectiveness of Mr. Zhang as the leader of Haier Group in a more practical way.

Firstly, Mr. Zhang analyzed the situation of Haier at its beginning so comprehensively. For instance, in the strengths analysis of the previous performance of Haier at the tough time, Mr. Zhang pointed out the refrigerator manufacturing is the only advantage or way out of trouble. Therefore, he led this small factory to purchase the modern technology on refrigerator manufacturing to find the hope for this factory at that special time (Li 2007). In chart 2.0 , there is an exhibition of the good financial performance of Haier from 2006 to 2001 under the effective leadership of Mr. Zhang Ruimming, which disclose the relatively outstanding performance of this corporate in its assess as well as liability management and improving profitability level for so many years (Haier 2010).

Chart 2.0 Financial performance of Haier from 2006 to 2010

Source: Haier 2010, Annual Report 2010

Source: Haier 2010, Annual Report 2010

Secondly, Mr. Zhang built up an honest and high competitive followership which is made up of not only senior employees who own full working experience and professional knowledge such as the vice president of Haier, the CFO of Haier, who manage the finance department in a logical way but also the young working forces such as a team of innovative designers, marketing people and so on, who own high level of working passion and ambitions. Just because of such kind of well-built followership, the entire workforce in Haier reflects a high level of working morale and enthusiasm, which supports Haier to become stronger and stronger (Li 2007).

Thirdly, the well management on working teams by Mr. Zhang contributes to the fast developing speed of its product research and development. And due to the well-built and fostering of the “Haier way” culture, employees are provided with both sufficient resources and systems to assist them to be more enterprising as well as innovative so as to ensure that there are spontaneous innovation made by Haier Group in this ever-changing world. For instance, during so many years’ development and accumulation in product research and development, the possessing of high potential innovative products become the major driving forces for Haier to compete other competitors both domestically and internationally. Till now, Haier Group has own more than 32 kinds of patents (Li 2007; Haier 2010). At the same time, Haier Group has won eleven National Prizes for Progress in Science and Technology and more than hundreds of province prizes in the field of science and technology innovation (Li 2007; Haier 2010).

In summary, Mr. Zhang Ruiming is an outstanding and unique leader, who is so skillful to combine the western style of management with Chinese elements and values as well as his own innovations in business. Due to these leadership behaviors, traits as well as the participating leadership style employed by him, Haier brand has become a world famous white goods manufacturer in the world even enjoys great population in the U.S. market. Due to the gradually obtaining the market share from these strong competitors such as GE, Whirlpool and so on, the superior quality of Haier has been recognized and preferred by so many customers all over the world. The unique Haier culture also assists its employee to develop more confident, enterprising, and innovative in all the working positions to assist their company to gain greater prosperity. Furthermore, Haier brand is now accepted and enjoyed a high level of popularity in the global home electronic appliance market, because Haier makes full use of its superior quality to conquer so many market regions. Because of the good performance of Haier brand in the global market, the poor impression of “made in China” has already been changed into be better aspect (Haier 2010; Li 2007).

3.0 Four frame model

3.1 Definition

According to the four frame model of Bolman and Deal (Palmer, Dunford & Akin 2009), organizational leaders may benefit due to being able to develop the analysis of their organizations from the four different frames, each of which own their special angle about the organization operates. There are structural frame, human resource frame, the political frame and the symbolic frame.

3.2 Analysis

3.2.1 The structural frame

In the four frame model, the structural frame describes organizations as akin to machines which are used to turn these inputs into outputs effectively (Palmer, Dunford & Akin 2009). Based on this concept, let’s have a look at its current organization chart to evaluate its effectiveness in chart 3.0.

Chart 3.0 The organizational chart of Haier group

chart 3.0

Source: Haier 2010 annual report

On the basis of this organizational chart, we may be able to figure out that the organizational structure under the leading of Mr. Zhang is operated in a relatively organized and logical system, which is defined and designed in a clear manner to support Haier Group to make its people understand the responsibility for each position as well as the rights enjoyed by each position and meanwhile to support these managerial people to operate their own department in a more structural and logical way (Sheng & Ye 2011). Just as Mr. Zhang once stated that such kind of design of the structural framework in Haier Group is aimed to meet these needs as well as requirements of both global and domestic expansion of this brand via developing the organizational structure in a more decentralization of authority like and flat structure like manner Zhang 2012.

As a matter of fact, just as Sheng and Ye (2011) pointed out that there are two distinct characteristics of this period which are globalization as well as new economy. And from the organizational structure design by Haier Group under the lead of Mr. Zhang we may also find that this kind of structural frame meet these two characteristics in some certain extent to support Haier to expand its business globally and improve the profitability level by enlarging the markets globally.

3.2.2 The human resource frame

The human resource frame refers to the relationship built between organization and its people (Palmer, Dunford & Akin 2009). Such kind of frame is aimed to balance the good fit between organizational needs and the requirements of people out of the work. Therefore, the ideal situation is that both the organizational and its people are able to get their expected benefits from the certain kind of relationship building and maintenance. At the same time, if the fit is lacking or insufficient both the two parties namely the organization and its people may suffer (Palmer, Dunford & Akin 2009).

On the one hand, from the corporate mission of Haier that to become the leader of this industry Haier engaged in and the most welcome and competitive home appliance providers by customers via the assistance of the enterprising and innovative workforces (Sun 2002). That is to say, what Haier prefers to get from the performance of employees is to gain both good reputation and bigger profitability.

On the other hand, as the employees in the organization, from the hierarchy of need theory by Maslow (in chart 4.0), their needs may be evaluated into five levels from the most basic ones – the Physiological needs to the highest level needs – the self-actualization needs. Therefore, we may estimate that what employees in Haier want to get from work are the basic job security needs and payment and then the higher level of needs such as belonging needs, esteem needs and so on.

Chart 4.0 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

chart 4.0

By evaluate the fit level between the Haier organization and its people we can get the following.

Firstly, in Haier Group, just from its Haier way culture we may find that this organization under the leading of Mr. Zhang always insists on the people orientation in human resource management, which support employees to develop from being managed and motivated to be more self-managed as well as motivated so as to be more enterprising, innovative as well as competitive (Sun 2002).

Secondly, under the leading of Mr. Zhang, Haier tries to offer its people with more enjoyment in their works such as the set-up of the Haier Industry Park to equip Haier Group with modern technology and equipment to set employees free from the heavy manual works and offer them with more satisfied working environment, which may fulfill the safety needs of people from their work in a large extent (Bai 2005).

Thirdly, Mr. Zhang also insist to build the principle of fairness in human resource management, which promote the diversity workforce management that Haier offers both its people and potential candidates the equal chances to be recruited, developed and promoted whatever their educational background, nationality, religion, gender, sex orientation and so on, which meet employees’ belonging and esteem needs in a certain degree (Cheng 2009, vol.20, p. 30).

In a word, what Haier brought to its people under the management of Mr. Zhang may be evaluated to meet their expectations on the work return to a relatively satisfactory level.

While regarding the benefits gained by Haier from the relationship built and maintained with its people, the results may also be worthy including the good financial performance during so many years, the 5.1% market share of the home appliance industry globally, the good reputation as a Chinese made brand and so on all prove the fit between Haier and its people is good (Cheng 2009, vol.20, p. 30).

3.2.3 The political frame

In an organization, we had better see it as a site in which participants pursue a range of objectives some in common, some may be different, some may complement and some may conflict (Palmer, Dunford & Akin 2009). In Haier Group under the management of Mr. Zhang, there are some politics inside while which may be not regarded as so bad and negative.

For instance, as the corporate mission of Haier is to become the leader of this industry Haier engaged in and the most welcome and competitive home appliance providers by customers via the assistance of the enterprising and innovative workforces (Sun 2002). Some employees may perform some politics to achieve such kind of mission by their own way. For instance, we have mentioned above that there was once a famous multinational corporate planned to merge Haier, which was under the introduction of the vice manager at that time to realize his value and gain more power in Haier by such kind of action. Although the original intention of this vice manager wasn’t negative or bad, he was lacking in the full consideration of the responsibility of Haier as the Chinese enterprise and the efforts of Haier people to build the strong brand fame of Haier (Yi & Ye 2005). Besides, there are also some political behaviors performed by Haier people by different ways and objectives, while Mr. Zhang almost managed them in a proper way to remove these negative influences of these behaviors and nurture people to perform in a more promising and correct way (Leonor 2009).

3.3.4 The symbolic frame

In the symbolic frame, it points out that the organizational culture of an organization is so important for it which even owns the same importance as the formal structure and processes (Palmer, Dunford & Akin 2009). And at the same time, the culture of an organization is often made up of these elements such as the symbols, beliefs, values, rituals as well as meanings.

In Haier Group, its organizational culture is fostered and maintained in its own special way. For instance, the culture of Haier is called the “Haier way culture”, which is aimed to support Haier to foster the win-win culture which takes all of its stakeholders into full consideration so as to maintain the sustainable growth of Haier at the present and future time by the assistance of three types of core values including the customer oriented value, development focused value as well as the interest driven value (Sun 2002).

Thanks for such kind of well-designed and built-up value, the sense of belonging of senior level management as well as these ordinary employees stays at a relatively high level, the productivity of Haier group often ranks in the top position among other competitors in the home appliance making industry and the turnover rate of employees is also in a low level (Leonor 2009).

3.3 Summary

By and large, the performance of Haier Group via the evaluation from the four-frame model may be defined as well done, which can’t ignore the efforts and contributions made by Mr. Zhang as the leader of this Group.

Firstly, in the organizational structure frame, it is Mr. Zhang who combines the current strengths and future developing potential of Haier group to build up such kind of suitable structure to promote its global expansion pace.

Secondly, in the human resource frame, Mr. Zhang leads Hair to build fairness principle in human resource management to build a high performed working force.

Thirdly, in the political frame, Mr. Zhang relatively well removed these negative influences of several political behaviors performed by people in Haier and led them tp perform in a more positive and promising way.

At last, in the symbolic frame, Mr. Zhang is wise and far sighted to foster the Haier way culture to ensure the productive performance of this organization by the people oriented direction.

4.0 Justification and recommendation on leadership practice

4.1 Justifications

In this part, we will employ the level 5 leadership theory to further evaluate the performance of Mr. Zhang Ruiming as the leader of Haier Group.

Collins (2001, p. 67-76) defined 5 level of leadership in an organization to transform company from merely good to truly great origination, which is shown in table 2.0.

Table 2.0 Level 5 hierarchy of leaders

Level 5: Level 5 Executive

Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.

Level 4: Effective Leader

Catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance standards

Level 3: Competent Manager

Organizes people and resources towards the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined

Level 2: Contributing Team Member

Contributes individual capabilities to the achievement of group objectives and works effectively with others in a group setting.

Level 1: Highly Capable Individual

Makes productive contributions through talent,

Knowledge, skills and good work habits

Source: Collins, J. 2001, Level 5 leadership: The triumph of humility and fierce resolve, Harvard Business Review, p. 67-76,

Based on the level five leadership theory, we can find that the most effective leadership is defined by Collins (2001, p. 67-76) as the level 5 executive who is almost a complete lack of ego, coupled with a fierce resolve to do what is the best to his or her company or organization. Under this aspect and these leadership practices implemented by Mr. Zhang, we may conclude that Mr. Zhang is an effective and outstanding leader, while what he has done or contributed may not even reach the highest level as the level 5 executive leader.

On the one hand, there are a variety of achievements contributed by Mr. Zhang as the leader of Haier Group. At first, he is far-sighted to organize both the people and resources surrounding Haier Group to pursue the organizational objectives of building Haier as the No. 1 domestic home appliance provider in China market. Secondly, when realizing such kind of dream, Mr. Zhang led Haier to establish the Haier Industry Park to support its globalization in the world market. Thirdly, Mr. Zhang also upgraded the organization aim to pursue higher performance standards that is to build Haier as a famous international home appliance brand with superior product quality via the guidance of a clear as well as compelling vision. Therefore, based on such kind of leadership practices and performances of Mr. Zhang, we may be able to point out that he is not only a competent leader who is able to organize people and resources towards the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined but also an effective leader, who is able to catalyze commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance standards (Collins 2001, p. 67-76).

On the other hand, there is also some gap between Mr. Zhang and the level 5 executive. At first, as the Chinese enterprise, it is seemed that it is inevitable to have some certain kind of bureaucratism and position of hierarchy existing in Haier group, which makes the humility development issue in this group being hindered in a certain degree (Leonor 2009; Sheng & Ye 2011). For instance, the traditional Chinese culture promote the respect of senior workers, even though they are incapable sometime compared to some young and potential talents, there is no excuse to ask them to leave, which is exiting the Haier’s culture. Secondly, the “Haier way culture” is seemed so fit for the previous and current situation of this company but is estimated to lack the vitality for the future (Leonor 2009; Sheng & Ye 2011). Haier way culture is seemed to be over ambitious on the business achievements, which promote every operation aspect towards the sales performance in order to rank among the world top 500 companies. As a matter of fact, such kind of high level enterprise is so necessary for any organization at any time, while till now Haier Group has already ranked among the world top 500 companies and enjoyed such a high reputation as these superior quality home appliance providers in the world, which may be not so suitable for its future development (Leonor 2009; Sheng & Ye 2011). Because of under the nurture of such kind of corporate culture, Haier people is seemed to be too anxious to achieve quick success to gain instant benefits, which may easily result in the individualism rather than the collectivism. If such kind of situation repeat and repeat, the sustainable development of Haier group may be hindered to a certain degree (Leonor 2009; Sheng & Ye 2011).

Therefore, we may define that the performance of leadership practices of Mr. Zhang in Haier may not be so good enough to be regarded as a level 5 executive leader, who is so wise and skillful to build enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will (Collins 2001, p. 67-76; Leonor 2009).

4.2 Recommendations

Since there are some gaps for Mr. Zhang to improve to be a more outstanding leader for Haier group so as to assist its sustainable development in the future, the following are some recommendations based on the performance of Mr. Zhang to assist him to improve its leadership effectiveness.

It is necessary for Haier Group to make some modification on its corporate culture which put the performance and results in the highest level rather the efforts and working attitudes of people. Although such kind of culture and performance management strategy may promote Haier to gain good achievements in sales performance, which may make the survival of people in Haier become tougher and tougher and full of “blood”. From this aspect, we may support the performance management concept of these Japanese companies more, which emphasizes the achievements and the working efforts as well as attitudes of people so as to promote better centripetal workforce to maintain the sustainable development (Li 2007).

At the same time, in the Chinese region, people has been influenced by the Guanxi, Renqing, Mianzi, which makes Haier faced with the problem to make its people accept its culture and management strategy of putting the achievement in the first place. Therefore, besides giving employee more affirmation and recognition on their working attitudes and efforts, the continuing and gradual training and developing of their working spirit is also necessary (Cheng 2009).

Furthermore, to make the working atmosphere be more comfortable, Mr. Zhang had better give employees more chance to show their own attitudes and perspectives to make them be more confident and positive to engage in the task of improving the overall performance of Haier group in the future (Sheng & Ye 2011).

5.0 Reference

Bai, C. 2005, Haier Development, Qin Hua University Press, Beijing,

Cheng, B. 2009, Haier’s success, Market Modernization, vol.20, p. 30,

Collins, J. 2001, Level 5 leadership: The triumph of humility and fierce resolve, Harvard Business Review, p. 67-76,

Daft, R.L. 2008, The leadership experience, 4th edn, Thomson South-Western, Ohio,

Daft, R.L.2010, New era of management, 9th edn, South-Western, Ohio,

Haier 2010, Annual Report 2010, Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd., electronic version,

Hughes, R.L., Ginnett, R.C. & Curphy, G.J. 2006, Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience, 5th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York,

Leonor, C. 2009, On localization strategy, Gilbane.com, viewed 25 October 2012,

<http:// gilbane.com/blog/mt-tb.cgi/8716>

Li, J. L. 2007, 从海尔的OEC 管理模式研究企业的执行力 (analysis on the operation competitiveness of Haier based on its OEC management style), Journal of Technological Management, vol.5,

Palmer, I., Dunford, R. & Akin, G. 2009, Managing Organizational Change, 2nd edn, McGraw Hill, New York,

Sheng, J. J. & Ye, S. X. 2011, “The Haier Way: The Making of a Chinese Business Leader and a Global Brand”, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Press, Virginia,

Stevenson 2008, What is a “Change Agent?”, Toolbox.com. , viewed 23 October 2012,


Sugarman, K, n. d., Leadership Characteristics, psychwww.com, viewed 22 October 2012,


Sun, J. 2002, 海尔的管理模式 (The management style of Haier), Enterpirse Management Publishing House, Shanghai,

Yi, J. J. & Ye, S. X. 2005, The Haier Way: The Making of a Chinese Business Leader and a Global Brand, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Press, Virginia,

Zhang, R. M. 2012, CEO’s Remark: Haier is the sea: About Haier, Available from:


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