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 Engineering cooperation
05.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Research project: EUR 3.3 million for improved quality of life in shrinking cities
02.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>