Ikea’s Corporate Culture
Definitions of Organisational Culture
“A set of understandings or meanings shared by a group of people that are largely tacit among members and are clearly relevant and distinctive to the particular group which are also passed on to new members .”(Schein, 1998) “The characteristic way of behaving and believing that a group of people in a country or region, firm have evolved over time and share.”(Briscoe and schuler, 2004) “ Collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or people from another.”(Hofstede,1991)
General Presentation of IKEA
IKEA was found by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 in Almhult, Smaland, Sweden. IKEA concept is focused on producing low price home furnitures. The products are designed, manufactured, transported, sold and assembled. The products are the same designed and sold world wide(one suit all). The concept has roots in swedish, such as informality, cost consciousness, a very humble and down to earth approach. There are more than 300 Stores in 41 countries (2011).
IKEA has more than 127,000 employees (2011).
Schein's Iceberg Model
Schein’s Levels of Organisational Culture
In the iceberg model, this is what is visible to everybody but which does not necessarily reveal everything about an organisation’s culture.e.g: Architecture,Logos,Dress code etc.
These represent the invisible aspect of organisational culture which includes the norms and beliefs that employees express when discussing organisational issues; it can also be represented in mission statements.
These are almost impossible to see on the surface and are hidden beneath artefacts and expressed values – yet these are the most important; and most times they are not taken for granted because they are difficult to understand. Openlearn.open, 2011
Applying Schein Level of Organisational Culture to IKEA
IKEA’s store worldwide are big in size. Blue and yellow colours = Swedish national flag Well designed functional products, most of them are given Swedish names Dress code (blue and yellow uniforms) Colorful catalogue Physical artifacts (furniture, fabrics, glasses, candles, plates, layout and signs) – all these are utilized to create the illusion of being in the various rooms of a home.
IKEA’s Value and Basic Assumptions
Simplicity: (in manufacturing, distribution, and use); Togetherness; Cost Consciousness: (by emphasising resource saving); Striving to meet the reality; Willingness to accept responsibility: (for the environment).
IKEA’s Basic Assumptions:
Innovativeness: (with the low price posing a challenge that provokes smarts solutions); Management style, people management; Informal culture.
Strong Culture vs Weak Culture
“One in which an organisation’s core values are widely shared among employees, intensely held by them, and which guides their behaviour”
“One in which there is a little agreement among employees about their organisation’s core values, the way things are supposed to be, or what is expected of them”
(Buchanan.A.D. and Huczynski A.A. 2010,pp 117)
Strong Culture in IKEA
Sharing IKEA culture with Employees :
IKEA has created a strong culture built on authentic leadership and knowledge sharing. Most IKEA leaders are identified, developed, and promoted from within the organization. Leaders are promoted on the basis of their personal values, skills, potential and what they have delivered so far. IKEA values are shared among leaders and co-workers within the firm
to sustain business development.
Sharing IKEA culture with customers
IKEA has an informal relationship with the clients and tries to
establish a partnership with the customers and communities
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