Kamprad’s Resourcefulness: Ikea

1. Kamprad’s careful stewardship of resources exemplifies his abilities as a manager. By practicing frugalness and economy, he was able to maximize profits by keeping costs low while also being able to continually innovate his growing company. While to some he may appear frugal, he has created a nest egg for economic downturn and well as creating a strong ethic of financial stewardship within his organization. Planning and problem solving became both the framework for IKEA and its source for innovation.
As a leader, Kamprad again instilled his own personal values into every fiber of IKEA. Effective cost cutting, hard work, and dedication. Aside from just cutting costs however, being influenced by the Bauhaus movement he also wanted to combine cost saving with a sense of style. (Chaundey, 2000) In addition, the welfare of his employees has been a main concern. (Nelson and Quick, 2011) I believe that Kamprad was (and is) a strong leader and manager for IKEA, and I believe that these principles will be carried on in his sons to future success in the marketplace. 2.
The followership of employees within IKEA can be directly linked to the Leadership Grid in Fig. 12. 1. (Nelson and Quick, 2011) From the structure of the grid, Kamprad would be a 9,9. Kamprad’s leadership style calls upon and motivates the team members within the company to take initiative and a personal stake in the company. They are hiring not just into a job but into a lifestyle and way of thinking. The combination of careful stewardship with concern for employee welfare creates an environment that gives employees both a responsibility and a sense of community. Etzioni, 1960) Thus IKEA employees are empowered and feel like they are part of something. In this way IKEA ends up with a staff of active independent, critical thinking individuals. (Nelson and Quick, 2011) This overall will drive employees to greater creativity and productivity for the company they care for and cares for them. 3. The case does not give specifics about Kamprad’s actions as a transactional leader, although the narrative would lead one to believe that they style would be uncharacteristic of him. Although Kamprad’s traits as a transformational leader are unquestionable.

Kamprad has given employees not just a goal but a way of living. (Davis, 2006) Kamprad himself dresses simply, eats at cheap restaurants and flies economy class. (Chaundey, 2000) Kamprad innovated and redefined ways of doing business repeatedly throughout his tenure as CEO of IKEA. From the mission statement of ‘create a better everyday life for the many people’, IKEA has been built upon a pioneering spirit. (Gowan, 2009) By designed a business plan that allowed IKEA to work directly between manufacturers and customers to keep costs low. ibid. ) By designing the flat boxes and shipping furniture to customers that they assembled themselves, Kamprad has been able to keep cost down. It is these business techniques along with his uncompromising ethics that he has instilled into the company and led it to greatness. Kamprad’s charisma is a quiet sort largely involving a ‘lead by example’ technique. Employees are drawn to Kamprad because of his strong ethics and personal adherence to them. Kamprad’s philosophy is not just words at board meetings but the way he lives his life.
This gives employees a stronger sense of connection with the boss, as he is still very close to his modest roots. The lack of title and privilege within IKEA also reinforces this. (Davis, 2006) References Chaundy, Bob (2000) IKEA’s self-assembled billionaire. BBC News. July 28, 2000 Retrieved from news. bbc. co. uk Davis, Paul (2006) Billionaire Attributes – Modesty: Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea’s Founder and Owner. Retrieved from ezinearticles. com Etzioni, Amitai (1960) Two Approaches to Organizational Analysis: A Critique and a Suggestion.
Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 2 Gawor, Katarzyna; Halasova, Sona; Polzin, Friedemann (2009) International Business Strategy of IKEA – Activities of the Multinational Furniture Retailer. University of Economics Bratislava Nelson, D. & Quick, J. (2011). Organizational Behavior: Science, the RealWorld, and You. (7th Ed. ) Mason, OH: South Western. Cengage Learning. Etzioni, Amitai (1960) Two Approaches to Organizational Analysis: A Critique and a Suggestion. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 2 Retrieved from www. amitaietzioni. org

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