Role of Culture and Ikea

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Introduction - Company Background
IKEA furnitures, privately held, international, low-cost home products are an inevitable part of interior furnishings at many houses in the world. IKEA furnitures are marked for its modern utilitarian design. The company has 260 retail outlets around the world and more new stores are on the line to be opened in 2008 (Dhanyasree, 2007).

IKEA was founded in 1943 by a 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Smaland, south of Sweden. IKEA formed its name from the founder 's initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, the farm and village where he grew up from a farmer to a businessman. Ingvar sold whatever he found could fill with a product at a reduced price under the brand name of IKEA
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IKEA wants its coworkers to feel important so that they will be able to express their ideas and feel responsible for improving the way things are done (Larsson, Brousseau, Driver, Holmqvist & Tarnovskaya, 2003). For example, on opening day of the original Stockholm store, the warehouse could not cope with the rush of customers. The store manager suggested that they be allowed to go into the warehouse to pick up their purchases. The result was so successful that future warehouses were designed to allow self-selection by customers, resulting in cost savings and faster service (Bartlett & Nanda, 1996).

Because it had such a strong and unique culture, IKEA preferred not to recruit those who had already been immersed in another cultural stream. Nor was higher education necessary or even advantageous in IKEA. “The Stockholm-raised, highly educated, status-oriented individuals often find it difficult to adjust to the culture of the company”, remarked one executive. “Younger, more open recruits not only keep costs low, but they also absorb and amplify the enthusiasm of the company. We can develop them quickly by delegating responsibilities early, rotating them frequently, and offering rapid promotions to the high performers” (Bartlett & Nanda, 1996).

In 1976, Kamprad felt the need to commit to paper the values that had developed in IKEA during the precious decade. His thesis, Testament

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