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Behavioural Analysis of IKEA

August 25, 2011
Behavioural Analysis of IKEA

Behavioural Analysis of Organisation

Organizational Behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organizations. It does this by taking a system approachThat is, it interprets people-organization relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organization, and whole social system. Its purpose is to build better relationships by achieving human objectives, organizational objectives, and social objectives. In short, organizational behaviour is the study of human behaviour in the workplace, specifically the interaction between employees and the organization.

            Organizational behaviours are a key part of a company’s people strategy. These behaviours are essential to the success of the organization and help form the basis of its long-term growth. Organizational behaviours speak to how the company intends to succeed; they need to be brought to life by each employee incorporating them into his or her daily work and interactions with customers and colleagues. All parties need to be in alignment to achieve maximum business impact.

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(2004) suggests seven critical organizational behaviours that should be a high priority of any organization. These includes demonstrating technical and professional proficiency, focus on customer, drive business performance, show passion in teams, solve problems effectively, plan and organize activities around SMART goals and exhibit  leadership and influence others.

There are four challenges of organizational behaviour as enumerated by  (2005). These are changing social or cultural environment, evolving global environment, advancing information technology and shifting work or employment relationships.

There is a growing body of literature that documents the bottom-line benefits of investing in a performance-oriented organizational culture that focuses, to a large extent, on values and leadership. (2001) extensive research identifies leadership and organizational culture factors that contribute to lasting economic success in publicly-held organizations.  (2001) found that having a sound business model and excellent financial management were necessary for good performance. Yet to achieve economic success, he found that effective leadership and strongly-held organizational values made the vital difference.

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(2000) examined case studies of seven publicly- and privately-held companies recognized for superior profitability and found out that common trends related to organizational values, effective leadership, and a focus on investing in employees that translated into the most successful companies. An analysis of these successful companies and their competitors demonstrated that focusing first on alignment of values and strong cultural norms were distinguishing factors with measurable bottom-line revenue and profitability results. With the right organizational assessments and strategic interventions, these results can be translated to the nonprofit and government sectors in terms of productivity, higher morale, recognition, and financial/budgetary support.

Additionally, leadership in an organization plays an important role in the success of the organization. Leadership today means influencing the organization or the followers to face its problems. It also means addressing conflicts in the values people hold, the willingness to expose the internal contradictions with individuals and the organization. Simply speaking, leadership is the ability to influence individuals or groups toward the achievement of goals. Leadership, as a process, shapes the goals of a group or organization, motivates behavior toward the achievement of those goals and helps define group or organizational culture. It is primarily a process of influence.

Moreover, motivation also is one of the key factors of the success of organizations. As a manager, productivity is the main concern. Thus, focus should be on the knowing how to improve the productivity of the employees. This productivity is a human behavior which is influenced by a number of factors. First, productivity is a function of each of the employees’ unique personalities. Second, employees’ behaviors are influenced by the environments in which they find themselves. Finally, an employee’s behavior will be a function of that employee’s innate drives or felt needs and the opportunities he or she has to satisfy those drives or needs in the workplace.

Let’s take for an example the IKEA. IKEA was one of the largest furniture manufacturers and retailers in the world, with operations in 32 countries. The company was well known for its stylish and innovative designs. It was the pioneer of furniture that could be dismantled and packed flat, to allow ease of transportation.
IKEA’s main strength was its committed workforce, which was often the source of the company’s innovative concepts. IKEA adopted a positive approach toward human resource management. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company implemented several initiatives that promoted ‘life balance’ and diversity.

In motivating Ikea’s employees, Ikea stresses simplicity and positive interaction among the workforce. Ikea offers a full benefits package for employees working 20 hours or more, tuition reimbursement, flexible scheduling options and many other benefits. Ikea provides maternity and paternity leave, paid time off for adoptions, condensed work weeks, telecommuting options and extensive professional development options. Ikea instituted diversity leadership and culture training programs and expanded its flexible scheduling polices. In some cases, two part-time employees can share one full-time job, dividing the hours as needed.

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