Ingvar Kamprad: Case Study
Ingvar Kampard’s leadership philosophies focus on enhancing the company’s profitability and minimizing operational expenditure. Such priorities show his infinite interest in the task achievement and efficiency in execution within the organization. Managers are task-oriented and ought to ensure that the employees of their organizations are as well (Patterson & Freeborough, 2015). Therefore, when focusing on cost cutting and profit maximizing endeavors, Invar Kamprad is a manager. In addition, it can be noted that most of the decisions within the organization are left to Kamprad. The latter is not just the ceremonial head at IKEA considering he is solely responsible for establishing the company’s goals and objectives as well as emphasizing that the employees work towards them. He, however, also seeks to inspire and motivate his employees by caring about them and their welfare. This means he is concerned about the people in his organization as a leader should be. Ingvar Kamprad also practices humility and simplicity in his interactions with the employees, thus spurring them to emulate him for their personal growth. Kamprad is a leader not only because he uses own experiences to teach the subordinates, but also because his behavior is emulated across the organization.
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The employees at IKEA are encouraged to be responsible, autonomous, and active in their roles and responsibilities within the organization. Those who possess critical thinking and total commitment to the company also belong to the kind of people the IKEA appreciates. Ingvar Kamprad stimulates effective followership where the employees understand what is expected of them and, thus, channel their efforts into meeting the needs of the organization. Critical thinking and engagement are particularly emphasized when dealing with clients since the company is rather large, and its fully hierarchical structure would otherwise hinder the operations and compromise customer satisfaction (Nelson & Quick, 2003). Employees also have to be motivated in order to continue following the right path and responsible for their actions within the organization. Kamprad achieves such a kind of followership in a number of ways, including the one when he demonstrates the genuine concern for the welfare of his employees. Kamprad also inspires these followers using his life as an effective example that they all can learn from. Finally, Kamprad is particularly quick to admit when he is wrong, thus teaching the employees to be humble without forgetting what matters to them.
Ingvar Kamprad applies a paternalistic approach to managing the organization. This means that he considers himself as the father of the company, and, like in traditional Swedish families, father knows best. As a result, within IKEA, it is a quite common practice to find the employees asking Ingvar Kamprad for guidance and direction. On the Leadership Grid, Kamprad’s leadership orientation can be placed on the 9+9 team manager. A 9+9 orientation is one of the most effective and probably difficult to achieve as it implies a perfect balance and equally strong orientation towards transformational and transactional leadership styles. Nevertheless, Kamprad opted for it. Consequently, not only is he in complete control most of the time but also genuinely expects the employees to listen to his instructions and decisions as related to daily activities. Despite leading a quite large organization, Kamprad is able to exert influence on all the critical decisions and still be concerned not for the results only but also for the people. Such an approach gives him total control, makes him loved trusted within the organization, and encourages everyone to seek for his advice and evaluation without feeling threatened or rebuked.
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Ingvar Kamprad mainly practices authentic leadership, incorporating some elements of transactional, transformational as well as charismatic leadership theories to create a personal style. Authentic leadership focuses on building honest and open relationships with the subordinates through genuine self-concepts established by the leader. Within the IKEA, Kamprad can be considered as the most honest and sincere person based on how easy it is to talk to him and seek his guidance on business issues. However, Kamprad also pays attention to the tasks achievement and uses scientific models to improve efficiency and efficacy within the company. His concern for results particularly displays the transactional aspects of this leadership style. In addition, the leader has an impeccable interpersonal capability as he is genuinely worried about the welfare of his personnel. Kamprad takes time to find out how they are doing and whether they are making any positive progress in achieving their career and personal development goals. By focusing on the people, Kamprad embeds transformational leadership in his leading style. As for charismatic leadership, Kamprad is known to encourage his employees to use his life as an example and avoid his mistakes in their daily activities in and out of the workplace. He is able to establish beneficial interpersonal relationships within the organization.
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The most important leadership lesson that can be learned from Kamprad’s experiences is that leading by example always works. The employees at IKEA are committed to their work simply because they see the commitment that their leader displays to excellence and hard work. These employees are able to learn from the best, and that is how they become the best. Rather than taking orders only, they emulate their leader, and the results are amazing. The second lesson concerns the significance that the Kampard attaches to the efficiency of company operations. Ingvar Kamprad is known for frugality and willingness to avoid waste at all costs. This kind of discipline allowed him to reach success and became the reason why the company recorded such high profits. From the results, it is evident that the concept of efficiency works well.
How it works:
I find myself not suitable when it comes to applying charismatic leadership style because of my limitations in maintaining interpersonal relationships with subordinates. This means even though I am able to interact with the people I work with, but it is difficult for me to support the consistent contact with everybody, especially when there are many people to communicate with. Besides, charismatic leaders are able to show genuine concern by remembering the conversations that they have with their subordinates (Patterson & Freeborough, 2015). Beyond doubt, remembering the names and details about individual shows sincere interest in his/her welfare since usually there are numerous people working within the organization and leaders are only likely to remember those who seem significant to them. Showing employees that they are important is generally what distinguishes charismatic leaders like Ingvar Kamprad. In order to develop my interpersonal relational skills within an organizational context, I will have to work on my conversational skills as well as my memory. The greatest impediment that I face is remembering the names and the personal details of those who I am talking to. I eventually confuse the names and faces as well as stories heard during a conversation.