IKEA Managing Cultural Diversity P Essay

9334 Words Apr 12th, 2015 38 Pages
IKEA: Managing Cultural Diversity
P. Grol, C. Schoch, and CPA
After firmly attaining leadership within Sweden, where it holds more than 20 percent of the overall market, IKEA has succeeded over the last 25 years in doing what 110 furniture distributor has ever attempted: to become a global player in an industry formerly considered by na¬ture to be local.
Today IKEA delivers low-priced quality furniture to key markets throughout the world. It is the only distributor in its field to have successfully established itself in all parts of Europe, including south¬ern and eastern Europe, and more notably in North America, includ¬ing the USA. It has stores today in the Middle East, Singapore, and Hong Kong and is preparing to enter the Chinese
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Throughout our investigation of IKEA we have kept these questions in the back of our minds, and we invite you to consider them as we explore the “IKEA Way” more closely.
How It All Started
IKEA’s name is derived from the initials of the company’s founder, architect, and driving force’ Ingvar Kamprad, those of the farm where he was raised, Elmtaryd, and those of his native village Agunnaryd, located in Smaland, a poor farming region in the south-east of Swe­den. Coming from a modest background, Kamprad began as a trader in everything from matches to Christmas cards. He got into the furni­ture business almost accidentally after buying out a furniture plant which had to dose down in the early 1950s. He demonstrated from the very beginning a combination of strong salesmanship, practical business acumen, thrift, an identity with ordinary people, and an un­conventional perseverance in the face of adversity. Always modest he was nonetheless a true entrepreneur, and, more significantly, a non-conformist who was not the least bit restrained by the conven­tions and traditions of the contemporary Swedish furniture trade.
His habit of staying close to his customers and his reluctance to own manufacturing furniture plants gave him the freedom to focus and innovate on all the facets of distribution. With nearby furniture producers he co-designed furniture to meet very specific requirements for

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