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 New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Control 2019: Fraunhofer IPT presents high-speed microscope with intuitive gesture control

24.04.2019 | Trade Fair News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>