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Case Title:

Innovation at Whirlpool: The DNA of Corporate Culture

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Anuradha Donepudi, Mercy Mathew

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics


Case Code: IPD0076

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Whirlpool Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of home appliances had a very strong engineering and manufacturing culture, with constant focus on cost and quality. But by the mid-1990s, its annual sales leveled off. Consumers were unable to differentiate Whirlpool's products. And with falling prices of home appliances, Whirlpool witnessed that its products were being reduced to commodities. Consequently, the company decided to change its corporate culture. With the vision 'Innovation comes from Everyone Everywhere', Whirlpool transformed itself from the traditional manufacturing discipline to a customer-focused enterprise providing innovative products to its consumers.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the need for a culture change at Whirlpool
  • To discuss the need for global companies to understand consumer needs and preferences in each of their markets and adapt their offerings accordingly
  • To understand the process of culture change at Whirlpool
  • To discuss whether the culture of innovation at Whirlpool will enable the company to sustain its leadership position in the appliance industry
  • To debate Whirlpool's acquisition of Maytag and whether it would continue to innovate and launch distinct products.

Keywords : Corporate culture; Innovation management; Change management; Supply Chain Management (SCM); Barriers to Innovation; Differentiation; Innovation Management Case Study; New Product Development; Knowledge Management System; Brand Management; Brand Value; E-learning; Communication Systems; Use of Technology in Change Management


  • Whirlpool: World’s No.1 Appliance Maker and its Challenges
  • Whirlpool's Innovation Makeover
  • The Road Ahead

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