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Leadership Analysis of Ingvar Kamprad

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Leadership Analysis of Ingvar Kamprad
IKEA, founded in 1943 in Sweden. The IKEA Group has become the largest furniture household businesses in the world. It products including seat / sofa series, office supplies, bedroom series , kitchen series, about 10,000 products. IKEA has 31 stores in 38 countries, 16 stores in China. China has become one of the most important space of IKEA 's largest procurement market and business growth, playing a decisive role in IKEA 's global strategy. The CEO of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, one of the richest men in the world. He was born in Mar. 30, 1926 , a town in the south of Sweden. His father is a farmer. He had the rich life in his childhood. But he was interesting in riding a bicycle, selling the products to the neighbors.From this he can feel the happy of earning money. He was not only good at finding others needs but also good at promoting his products. In 1943, Kamprad established his own company, called IKEA. In my paper, I will comb how Ingvar Kamprad grew up in the business world and his leadership behaviors and traits. (Zuvela, 2013)
Life Experience
Childhood period
Ingvar Kamprad was the first child in his family, when he was a little boy he had a strong talent in doing business. Such as his aunt helped him to buy 100 boxes match cost €88, then he sold them out by €2-€3 even if €5. So his profit margin is €1-€2. He was very excited about that. He also sold the fishes and the flowers. From then, he was interested in selling and decided to do it. Actually, his business talent from his father and mother. His mother from a huge business family in his hometown. And his grandfather was a famous businessman operated a good shopping mall and a hardware store. And in his childhood, he only have a dream that helping his father with money.
(Wang, 2009)
Became a furnisher
After his graduate from middle school he wanted to set up his own company in 17 years old. He wanted to combined theory and practice together. With his uncle’s help, he set up own company

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called IKEA. The name combined with two people’s name and two location’s name in it. Ingvar,
Kamprad, Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd. At first, IKEA sold all of the low price products that people need, such as watches, pens… After Kamprad came into the Goteborg Business College, in that place he learned about many things that Marketing had became a most important one in his heart.
He realized in order to sell the cheapest product to the customer, controlling cost is the most important thing in a company operation. So recycle method was encouraged in this company. In that time, all the products in Sweden were selling through the mailing method even if the furniture either. However, the competition in this industry was strong. Some companies using the low price to attract the customer, so the quality was hard to control. Kamprad found mailing method had a big problem that the customer can not touch the product, they only knowing the product by the advertisements so that the cheating behavior occurring in sometime. IKEA need to make a choice that Kamprad found the furniture industry having a big potential so he decided to give up other businesses only focus on selling low price furniture products and make a furniture physical store to showing his products for a long time. He let people to compare price and quality for the different products and decided to buy which one. After he bought a old furniture store he told the customer that IKEA only to sell the furniture and national product from now. And then he set up the furniture store for two floors and put the low price products together and high quality high price products beside them. Fortunately, the customers all choose the higher one. From then on, Kamprad had become a furnisher.(Torekull, 1999)
Hard time for developing
From 1953 after IKEA became a real furniture store, its hard time was coming that not only for the IKEA but also for the Kamprad. There was a big company monopolized the furniture industry called Carte. They refused another competitors became into the industry in Sweden. So they made many trouble for IKEA such as prevented their exhibition and their marketing fair. National
Federation of Furniture Dealers sent a declare to every furniture supplier, if they still provide

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products to IKEA they would be punishment. Some of them scared about that, some of them still in touch with IKEA and trade in secretly. In this hard time, Kamprad opened a series companies to play many different roles in the market. That means IKEA not only a seller but also a buyer. They had a company for the export, a company for the import, a company famous for the foam rubber products and another company focus on mailing. Whatever others did, IKEA was always in operating and Kamprad never stop thinking. At that point, a big idea appeared his mind. He decided to opened a new market. He chosen Poland. In Poland he selected a low cost furniture manufacturer and produce his products. Because of the excellent wood craft and low price IKEA relived in
Poland. Many people had less consciousness in global marketing, Kamprad was the first person who lead his company go abroad. In 1974, he opened German furniture market. In 1985 and 1987, went into North American and England. Every time they went to a new place they would open a small shop to adapt local culture and then they would open a large one. For this method, in 2003,
IKEA Group revenue was €11.5 billion. (Torekull, 1999)
Leadership Traits
Administrative Ability
Kamprad thought that the key of the management was ‘LOVE’.

Payed attention to the

employees and gave them warm care, as a team leader, it would let the whole company became emotional connect with employees’ families. Kamprad admitted that the emotional issues and business issues was difficult to spared it. So Kamprad established various rational and wholesome systems to protect IKEA can heathy grow up without any restrictions from anyone. Kamprad created a administration channel was ‘HUG’. That was an unique administrative ability for
Kamprad. He wanted to through the ‘hug’ way to keep this business can walk long long time and this spirit can influence the everyone work in IKEA. Kamprad thought new member in a company, especially for the one who would into an important position, they needed to have this quality —— like hugging. Once, he was talked with a man for a whole night who would be a manager in the

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future. He pulled this man’s arm and kissed his cheek with thanks and encourage. But the man was petrified in that time and palsied. He thought hugged his man can let him feel warm and be trusted.
As the ‘HUG’ way, Kamprad also had full of populace's thoughts and feelings. At the beginning of the business, Kamprad slept with his employees as in his childhood slept with his friends in the farm. They were working together, eating together, talking about life and talking about dream. Even if he would be clean the tobacco pipe for his employees in order to they can smoke before the breakfast. Two managers in Poland said, they loved Kamprad. Because he was a warm leader.
(Collins, 2011)
Persistence
Kamprad said every thing in the world would be meet difficult, the key point is whether you had courage to fight with these difficult. Whatever how big was the difficult, if we tried to do it best, everything would be ok. As I mentioned before, from 1950-1952 it was a hard time for IKEA and
Kamprad. Even if for these, the monopoly organization can not beat IKEA, can not beat Kamprad.
He still believe they can win. So he tried many ways to fighting with them. He opened a series companies to play many different roles in the market. That means IKEA not only a seller but also a buyer. The monopoly organization did not allowed Kamprad appeared in the exhibition used his name, he would used other company’s name under his company or he used dependable supplier and interested people to helped him. Whatever others did, IKEA was always in operating and Kamprad never stop thinking. He showed to everyone, if anything he wanted and interested he would be do it persistently. (Collins, 2011)
Social Perceptiveness
In IKEA development, many decisions from Kamprad had been provided he had a strong social perceptiveness, he always knew what the customers needed, what the market needed and what should they did. As I mentioned before, he chose Poland and went abroad. Both of them were decided by Kamprad. In German, United States and England, he believed he would had a good

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opportunity to earn money. Kamprad found everyone like him wanted to buy the high quality and low price products. So IKEA would focus on these, they would provide, everyone can buy, good furnitures. Now if you went into IKEA, you would attracted by the big yellow discount brand!
Everyday in IKEA would have product to be discount. And also he found people love to try the product first and then bought it. So he decided to open an experienced store and let people to have a real feeling about his furniture. The showing product was not alone they were mixing together. Such as they would set up a small decoration bedroom and sold their furniture.

The most amazing

department in IKEA was his restaurant. Kamprad said hungry would gave a bad business. He did not want their employee worked in hungry situation and his customer shopped in hungry. So he created IKEA restaurant. At first, it can only sale the coffee and hotdog. But now the IKEA’s food had became a symbol for Sweden’s food. Their delicious food attracted many customers to try it in
IKEA. And of course this department can bring a huge revenue for IKEA, 1.6 billion dollars a year.
Someone worked in IKEA said open a restaurant in IKEA this the best way to attract customers.
(Zhang, 2006)
Enthusiasm
For IKEA, it’s successful can not do without the Kamprad’s enthusiasm. Kamprad had put all the time and enthusiasm to IKEA. From his biography, we can know Kamprad’s first marriage end because of the developing company, he became busier and busier than before. His ex-wife said,
“Kamprad never working for 8 hours, he always working far exceeded 8 hours. ” Her did not like his enthusiasm to his work, and do nor care about family, so they decided to divorce. Kamprad said,
“I can not look forward to the next generation like me to tied himself on the business. That means, they should give up all the quiet life and other wonderful things. ” As he said that, he used his enthusiasm to pay all for the IKEA. Fortunately, IKEA’s success also feed back for him . His enthusiasm involved all the employees, we helped IKEA became more and more successful. (Burdi,
2004)

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Emotional Stability
That is a basic trait for every successful leader. For Kamprad, his successful can provide this point. At the beginning, it was very hard for him. In the middle period, he in order to broke the monopoly role through countless sleepless nights.Even his mother died and his wife left with him, he still worked in his position. He had been persevered by himself. He asked himself do not bring these to work and also encourage his followers to give them the positive working environment.
Kamprad said, “that can really encourage employees to help with me through the difficult period, I do not want to lose them.”
Leadership Behavior of Ingvar Kamprad
Transformational Leadership
At the beginning, he slept with his employees in a small hotel in bed. In that small room, he encouraged his employees to do better and said he would always be here with them. Kamprad was good at discovering talented person and encouraged him to do better and better. Such as IKEA designer, the first designer, Gilles · Lund glen. He was famous for he took down the leg of the desk then packaged them, that was called Graphic Package Design in IKEA. Kamprad found he was a special man for him so he decided to trust him and putted him in an important position. When the company in the hard time, Kamprad hold his hand and said, “If these products can well, I promised you also can live well.” Gilles was also a trustworthy person, he did not sign other contract with others. Kamprad did not good at drawing but Gilles always stay with him, so he can draw the thinking of Kamprad. As a result, Gilles did not let Kamprad down about him. He created tens of thousands revenue for IKEA. Every products went into the market would win the good reputation.
Kamprad said “I like working with him. Because we can try on our own terms, fail, try again, then success.” (Tan, 2005)
Autocratic Leadership

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As we also know, IKEA is a family business, everything in this company was decided by
Kamprad. Once he was not attended in a meeting, they decided to choose which material for a chair.
The plaintiff wanted a black one but the defendant wanted a yellow one. They discussed for long time. At the end, the plaintiff said, Kamprad would love the black one! Then they stop fighting, everyone agreed to choose the black one. Actually, Kamprad had no idea about anything for these material. In the company, always appeared things like this. Their solution way was, Kamprad would like this! “Kamprad” this name was useful in this company.
Supportive Leadership
The famous management way is “HUG”. Kamprad though this way to encourage his employees to do better and better. In his hug, he always with a deep kiss on someone’s cheek. He wanted his employees felt that he was really trusted them and needed them. He always fixed followers eye and gave them a good manly squeeze. It was done in an intimate transfer as though they were actually close friends. After the discussion, he would give followers a hug to show gratitude. Besides, his employee recalled that Kamprad would hold a party in his suburban room to celebrate with followers and his wife when a new mall opened. They stayed together all night singing, dancing and talking together. (Torekull, 1999)
Reference of Ingvar Kamprad leadership in Hospitality Industry
A sense of awe and charisma
Kamprad has a sense of awe. He knows the important for his employees and customers. In consequence he show his great respect to other especially his followers. He tried to keep the excellent people stay. Many people said, Kamprad’s success not only for his talent in business but also because of his charisma. To build stable and efficient team had become a goal of IKEA.
Kamprad thought that after running team would have better performance because of they have the same goals and belief. (Zhang, 2006)

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That point is the key point, the leader of hospitality industry should be learned. He should use their charisma and an understand heart to facing their followers. High turnover rate, making the department of a hotel always stay in running team period, they can not have a same goal and belief.
Low salary, high pressures, working time over 8 hours a day, abnormal live time makes the front line employees suffering everyday. In that situation, they need a leader to do care about them.
Actually some leaders in the hotel had realized this problem. David Travers, the GM of Crowne
Plaza Chaoyang Utown. He usually go around in hotel in the morning, and talk to employees face to face. Every month, he will attend to employees’ birthday party. And will have a working review dinner for the employees who had work in this hotel for one month. In that dinner, GM will talk with them about their experiences in this month and what they need in live. The new staff feel warm about the dinner. Mr. Travers said he hope because of him everyone can work happy in his hotel.
But for a whole hotel only GM to do this, is not enough. It should ask every leader in each team have this sense to help the hotel to keep good staff to stay.
Be generous and career development to the talent person
For Kamprad himself, he was a talent person and he was also a lucky person because of his uncle’s generous help. He said if not have uncle’s initial believe help, IKEA would not be like this.
Therefore, in the future, when Kamprad met a talent person he would be performed his generous.
Such as his chief designer, he told him IKEA in here he will be in here. He admitted to give him the best treatment to wish he can stay in IKEA. He did care about each employee and encouraged them to do better.
But in hospitality industry, one sentence was popular, “ Work in hotel is compete with the working years. If you stay in a hotel for a long time you would get a good position. ” That means even you are talent in this position, it is also hard to give you more reward because of the working years. This unwritten rule had discourage participation for the talent person. In the negative process, they became less and less interest in it. So many talent people will not live in this industry for a long

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time. But more and more hotel group have realized this problem, so they decided to create their own management trainee program in order to keep the young and talent person stay in hotel industry.
That a good way to reduce this problem.
Be family with followers
Kamprad thought be family with followers that was a way to let them felt about the leader’s care and their values. Just like the “HUG” administrate model can bring the followers nice feeling. For that can improve the team’s performance.
For the service industry this is very important, especially for the hospitality industry. The employees satisfied related to the customers’ satisfied. So if the leaders want the customers live in this hotel have a wonderful experience, the first point is do care about your employees. Especially for the first-line employees. Like a family, even they worked in a hard and boring position they also can feel comfortable for it, at the same time they will feel working for their own family.
Conclusion
IKEA has become the largest furniture company in the world, it attract the more and more customers by its unique and simple design products. IKEA’s successful not only attribute to the smart team but also because of the important person, Kamprad. He used his unique leadership behavior to lead the generations employees in IKEA to work hard. Because of his administrative ability, IKEA likes a family hug every employees working in his company. He solved the high turnover rate problem, everyone working in IKEA feeling happy and warm. He did care about employees’ feeling and gave him encourage, in the same way, employees were all working hard and enthusiasm to help IKEA had a greet profit. Because of his persistence, IKEA pulled through many difficult. Kamprad said “Anything will get in trouble, the key method to deal with the thing is whether you have courage to fighting with them. No matter how big the trouble is, if we do it, the things will be better. ” Depend on this belief, he leaded IKEA continuously to create the business miracle. Because of his social perceptiveness, he always knew when and where, what should they

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did. For himself, he always niggards with his money, never pay attention on the luxury enjoyment, only focusing on the quality. Relied on this reason, he tried his best to make the low cost and high quality products to the customers. The same, lots of decision, also because he found he should did then he decided to did it. His sharp observations made IKEA leading edge of this industry and became a attitude toward life. Kamprad said, in his whole he did not do something right. At the beginning he was not a good husband then he was not a good father in his first family. But he still tried his best to do better. IKEA as a child for him. His autocratic leadership behavior only because that he did not want his child get heard from anyone. There was a time when many magazines discussed whether he was the richest man in the world, he did not care about it. He always thought how can make his company better and better. (Wang, 2011)
Finally, Kamprad completed his initial dream about his company. Nowadays IKEA is not only a beautiful furniture company but also a attitude for life. It can make young people find their life’s hope. For Kamprad, he is a successful leader in the furniture industry even in the business world.

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Reference
Wang, X. (2009, 4). Ingvar Kamprad, the warrior of business kingdom. Franchise Market Magazine
, 32-33.
Torekull, B. (1999). THE IKEA STORY. Collins; First Edition edition.
Anonymous. (2005). Busniess with love (Dizhou, T., Trans.). Nanjing, China: Shanghai Far East
Publishers.
Zuvela, M. (2013, July 24). IKEA mulls joint venture with Bosnia furniture maker. Retrieved from
Reuters.Retrieved: http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/01/08/idUSL0861625720080108 testervn (2011 Mar. 1). Ingvar Kamprad’s leadership style. Retrieved from http:// testervn.hubpages.com/hub/Ingvar-Kamprads-leadership-style anonymity (n.d.). ANALYSIS OF LEADERS IN GLOBAL BUSINESS. Retrieved from http:// culctayarf.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/analysis-of-leaders-in-global-business/ Al-hammadi, S. (2013). 0 IKEA: Leadership Leads to Product Innovation and Globalization.
Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/5276306/
IKEA_Leadership_Leads_to_Product_Innovation_and_Globalization_Human_Resource_Managem
ent
Hu, X. (2006, 12). Ingvar Kamprad, the thriftiest rich merchant. Wise People , pp. 58-60.
Kamprad, I. (2003). The Best Leadership IS BY Example. Retrieved from The New York Times and
Forbes: http://www.evancarmichael.com/Famous-Entrepreneurs/825/Lesson-2-The-BestLeadership-is-by-Example.html
Clear, J. (2014, 8 28). How to Build Skills That are Valuable: Lessons Learned From Selling
Matches. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236835…...

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