Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The secret behind IKEA lies in its employees

24.01.2008
Why do some companies succeed in getting established abroad while others don't? Internationalization experts have long maintained that the key to success lies in knowledge about the new market.

On Friday business analyst Anna Jonsson at Lund University will submit a dissertation with new findings: A good system for transmitting knowledge among various co-workers is just as important if not more important than knowledge about new markets.

For five year Anna Jonsson has been studying IKEA's establishment in Russia, China, and Japan in order to understand why they succeed so well with their new establishments. She has found that the secret lies in the fact that the company associates are good at sharing their knowledge and that the knowledge flows readily among all levels. Anyone wishing to pursue a career with the company has to try out many different positions and zig zag their way up.

"In many companies a person's career can benefit from them not sharing their knowledge," says Anna Jonsson. "At IKEA it's just the other way around: you can't pursue a career there unless you share."

Today knowledge management is a buzz word among company developers. The concept is often associated with strategies that include expensive IT solutions and intranets, but Anna Jonsson maintains that people often focus on the wrong things:

"In the case of IKEA knowledge management has been a built-in component of the company culture. When foreign stores are to be established, a large team travels around and assists. Contrary to what most internationalization experts say, the company has not put much effort into adapting to new markets. Anyone with a good knowledge of the company and who has been involved in starting new stores can quickly get established on a new market anyway."

In principle IKEA simply follows that same concept for success, but this does not mean that the company is not willing to learn new lessons. Unlike many other countries, new knowledge is communicated not only between the head office and subsidiaries but also among the various subsidiaries.

"By not having hermetically sealed compartments between different regions, levels, and functions within IKEA, associates utilize each other's knowledge in the best possible manner," says Anna Jonsson. In this way, they assist each other on markets where they are facing the same problems even though they might be remote from each other geographically and organizationally. When stores were established in Japan, for instance, they looked more at IKEA in Germany than at their activities in China since the two former markets involve more comparable challenges than China and Japan do, for example.

For more information, speak with Anna Jonsson at cell phone number: +46 (0)708-69 89 99. Anna Jonsson will defend her thesis on Friday, January 25. It is titled Knowledge sharing across borders­A study in the IKEA world. The public defense will take place at 1:15 p.m. in Crafoord Hall at the School of Economics and Management.

Ulrika Oredsson | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>