General Presentation of Ikea

Topics: Organizational culture, Management, Organizational studies Pages: 7 (1407 words) Published: June 17, 2013

Ikea’s Corporate Culture, 2011

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
4, 2011

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.

Espoused Values
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.

Basic Assumptions
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., 2011

Applying Schein Level of Organisational Culture to IKEA

IKEA’s Artefacts:
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

IKEA’s Values:
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

Strong culture:
“One in which an organisation’s core values are widely shared among employees, intensely held by them, and which guides their behaviour”

Weak culture:
“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
 IKEA...

References: 15
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Brewster,.C, Sparrow, .P. Vernon .G. (2007) International human resource management, (2nd edn). London chartered institute of personnel and development. Pp 40 Buchanan,.D.A. and Huczynski,.A.A.(2010) Organizational Behaviour,7edn,Pearson Education Ltd. Blomqvist, .K. (2006) ‘Cross culture management comparison between ikea Canada and Ikea Sweden’ ,Stockholm University Steve Burt., Ulf Johansson and Åsa Thelander.(2008) ‘Standardized marketing strategies in retailing? IKEA’s marketing strategies in China, Sweden and the UK’, 1st Nordic Retail and Wholesale Conference, Stockholm (Norrtälje), 6-7 November. [Online] Available at: n%20retailing%20IKEA.pdf(Accessed: October 2011) Kataiina Kling and Ingela Goteman. (2003) ‘IKEA CEO Anders Dahlvig on international growth and IKEA 's unique corporate culture and brand identity’, Academy of Management Executive, 17(1), pp. 31-37. Hay.M.(2006) ‘SERVICE LEADERS Values-based service brands: narratives from IKEA’, Managing Service Quality, 16 (3), pp230-246. Emerald Group Publishing Limited [Online]. Available (Accessed: October 2011) Ulf Johansson and A ̊ sa Thelander. (2009) ‘A standardised approach to the world? IKEA in China’, International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 1 (2), p199-219. Emerald Group Publishing Limited [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: October 2011) Jonsson .A. (2008) ‘A transnational perspective on knowledge sharing: lessons learned from IKEA’s entry into Russia, China and Japan’, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 18 (1), p17–44. Taylor & Francis Group [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: October 2011) Li, Q.W. (2007) ‘IKEA in China: Facing Dilemmas in an Emerging Economy’, ASIAN CASE RESEARCH JOURNAL, 11 (1), P1-31. World Scientific Journal [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: October 2011) Veronika V. Tarnovskaya and Leslie de Chernatony. (2011) ‘Internalising a brand across cultures: the case of IKEA’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 39 (8), p598-618. Emerald Group Publishing Limited [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: October 2011) IKEA (2011) Inter IKEA Systems b.v. Available at: (Accessed November 2011) The Open university(2011) organisational culture. Available at:§ion=3 (Accessed 10 November 2011)
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