Corporate culture

IKEA: Corporate Culture of the Heart

Corporate culture is implanted in every company’s goals, structure as well as the company’s approach to their employees, clients and their local community.

Thus, it is a necessary factor in any company that determines the organisation’s success or failure.

Corporate culture reflects on the behaviour of the company as a whole. In other words, their culture and values are how they want the world to see them as. These types of culture could be fun loving, creatively driven or family-community oriented; just like IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer as mentioned by writer Walter Loeb on Forbes.com.

Let’s look into how unique IKEA culture and set of values that was developed over the years.

Company values

Photo: Håkan Dahlström, Flickr

IKEA: A Brief History

IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, who was listed as one of the world’s richest people in 2013. Ingvar Kamprad started his business around the age of just 17-years old. His earliest venture was buying matches in bulk in Stockholm and reselling them locally. He went on to sell fish, Christmas decorations and seeds before eventually settling on furnishing industry.

At current, the flat-pack furniture chain has 361 stores in over 40 countries employing more than 164,000 workers, according to its website. The latest edition of its catalogue has a print-run of 217 million, in 33 languages for 47 countries, and the digital catalogue has had 45 million visits.

Their Mission

IKEA’s mission is to provide a better everyday life for people and keeping the mission alive are their everyday employees. The team at IKEA share the same principle that many should be able to create the home they want and dream of.

It is also part of their business idea to offer a wide range of well designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.

Not only focusing on being successful, IKEA also focuses in being long lasting. They believe that IKEA’s culture is the glue in a growing company and at the same time, the fuel that keeps everyone going by challenging each other with a strong foundation in working together as colleagues.

IKEA - Corporate culture of the heart

Photo: John Pastor, Flickr

IKEA’s Shared Value and Culture Fit

The team at IKEA believe that value only comes from one place, which is the heart. Småland, in South Sweden, was where the company’s founder was born and raised. It can be easily recognised as the source of IKEA shared values. Their shared values, which are all apparent in the lifestyle, attitudes and customs of the place where it all began. Their values include:

  • Togetherness
  • Cost-conscious
  • Respect
  • Simplicity

IKEA values are very much a product of our origin. Hard work, tough challenges, common sense, Swedish roots and limited resources have formed IKEA values.

IKEA looks at culture fit with their every new hire. They believe that the way of doing things is not to ask others what you should be doing. However, it is more to ask yourself what you should be doing and then get on with it. The management team at IKEA do not just want anyone as their employee; they look at recruiting unique individuals who are willing to share their values with.

A Culture of the Heart

Remember that the corporate culture determines the way the company moves; whether in a positive aspect or otherwise. So it is not only the exciting and engaging IKEA’s culture that brings the team together, but their culture really helps them have a community feeling in the company.

As stated on their website; the IKEA culture is hard to describe, however it is easy to embrace. It is a culture of enthusiasm, togetherness and willpower, born from their roots in southern Sweden and inspired by the IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad.

”Maintaining a strong IKEA culture is one of the most crucial factors behind the continued success of the IKEA Concept”

– Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA founder

In Summary

It is clear that corporate culture plays a pivotal role in every company. How you define your culture is how employee’s beliefs and attitudes will be towards their job; from their task at work to how they treat their colleagues. However, it not only influences the attitudes of employees towards their working environment, but affects everyday decision-making on elements.

If you need help on creating a culture for your company, read our blog on creating a great company culture to find out how you can create your own corporate culture.

Good luck!