Chapter_7-_Whirlpool_Case - Chapter 7 Innovation and Change...

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Chapter 7 Innovation and Change Case: Whirlpool During its 95 year history, Whirlpool has become an expert in manufacturing excellence with its classic white appliances engineered for efficiency, long-lasting life, and low price. Periodically the products have received a facelift or a small improvement in function and performance, but this usually amounted to little more than a new wash cycle option. At Whirlpool, where efficiency was king, the idea of innovation as a key to success met considerable resistance. Corporate director Nancy Snyder said, “Over the years people have used many nice adjectives to describe Whirlpool. But ‘innovative’ has rarely been among them.” Initial efforts at innovation produced some new products. Expenses, however, far exceeded any positive results from those innovations, and when the former CEO tried to push all 61,000 employees to exercise their creativity, most employees saw the effort as a waste of time and employee moral dropped.
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