It all began in 1943, when a young man Ingvar Kamprad, 17 years old, decided to create his own company, starting from a reward from his father for having finished his studies. This small company located at Agunnaryd in Sweden has now become a major performer in the world of organizations, employing 128,000 people in 24 countries/territories. Now, Ikea is much more than a retailer of pieces of furniture; Ikea is a lifestyle, a culture apiece, for having introduced new standards into the field of furnishing, like in the management of company.
The concept of an organizational culture aims at analyzing how cultural differences between internal departments in an organization and between several companies, intending for example to amalgamate, can appear. Even if the work on these concepts is rather old, the interest for the organizational world of today always remains, and becomes increasingly strong. In the context of accentuated universalization and the European market under development, the companies change and grow constantly. Thus, these recomposed, diversified, internationalized companies, constitute of as many situations in which often clashed systems of values, diagrams of behaviors, obviously different visions of the world, generating detrimental incomprehension and conflicts with the prosperity of the company and the comfort of those which work there'.
We want to analyze how the culture of a company, and more precisely that of Ikea, is formed of. We activate in this step, the model of onion' of Shein (1986). According to this model, the organizational culture appears in four dimensions, of a more unconscious core towards the surface outside. The center, being the most stable, but an intangible sphere of any organizational culture, takes up the fundamental postulates. Thus, one can propose for the case of Ikea, the sincerity and the open character of the human nature which are considered very important, that it is between the relationships in the company's environment.
The center, the sphere being the most stable, but also intangible in any culture, uses the basic premises of any business. Thus, one can put forward the case for Ikea's sincerity and openness of human nature which are considered very important, whether between workers, between management and workers or when relations with the environment. Ikea wants to be a young company in the eyes of its consumers and is looking for workers who have these traits.
At a second level, we find the values and beliefs upon which a company is built, and which result directly from basic assumptions.Through seminars, such as human relations, and meetings with management, thus the involvement of workers, Ikea aims to integrate its values into the behavior of its staff. Want to create a pleasant social environment for staff, promote solidarity and create the possibility for everyone to contribute, in groups and ideas, functioning, but also to the development of the company.
The third dimension of culture includes the norms of thought and action, already observed from the outside and a direct result of underlying values. Thus, we may face in the workings of Ikea for example the fact that the store manager in France takes time to speak with workers during the day to be a prescriptive body that is not anonymous in the eyes of employees. By the same logic, one is on familiar terms with colleagues, regardless of the position we occupy. Another remarkable detail is how workers react to external criticism and internal company events.
Tags: Ikea, history of Ikea, leadership and organizational culture of Ikea
[...] In the dynamics of the model we can classify IKEA's organizational culture in a first type of support, based on internal and flexible orientation whose definition sticks very well if IKEA: "Anxious for the well-being and development of their members, these companies promote cooperation and participation. Confidence and interpersonal communication are reinforced [ . ] and the staff shows a higher commitment to the company. "However, this type of innovation feature is also present at IKEA; creativity in processes and business management should especially be emphasized. [...]
[...] Thus we will see how IKEA explains its actions by perpetuating a cycle of model organizational culture (Sathe 1985). According to Sathe, companies which start hiring soon select their staff among those closest to the norms and values the company. Thus, already at this stage the first candidates that diverge too much of the cultural model of the company will leave the cycle. After the socialization of new members, the company should strengthen and perpetuate the values beliefs of the staff, according to Sathe, on behavioral dynamics. [...]
[...] This model is to find rankings for organizational cultures, distinguishing two main axes of analysis. Firstly, Quinn shows the direction of the company, which tends to be internal to the proper functioning of the firm and the satisfaction of its members or to the external, focusing on the environment, market opportunities and customers. The second axis distinguishes between characteristics of flexibility, giving a lot of freedom in the actions of the limbs on one side, and control and stricter rules on the other side. [...]
[...] The risk is to lose the beneficial effects of moderate heterogeneity of experiences and skills, which have a positive impact on performance. It should nevertheless be wary of too much heterogeneity , because the relationship with the leader is extremely important, for example, each having access to his office to communicate any problems. This requires that it be heard with all employees. It therefore appears that the personality of the leader is of paramount importance , and this can have negative effects , for example in his estate. [...]
[...] It has, for example the story of the first store in the Garden of Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden, the life of the founder of the company and the evolution of IKEA in the past sixty years. In particular, the character of Ingvar Kamprad is very important for any organization. He comes very close to the workers, and does not hesitate to visit stores around the world to motivate staff. His is visionary, idealistic, but still modest and close to people making him a true hero for employees who often have values similar to his. [...]
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