Review of Ikea

What are the main insights or new understandings that you gained from the application of HSM to the IKEA case study?

The hard system approach is a method that is used to offer solution both in quantitative and also qualitative manner; it is a step by step procedure which is iterative, these method looks at the problem or opportunity and takes it through a rehabilitation to bring the desired change. Looking at IKEA which was started over 50 years ago under one person’s idea in relation to the hard system approach, there have been changes in the life of people in Sweden. For them it was an opportunity to build their company, they had identified the problem or the opportunity which was to reduce the expenses of luxurious home to fit even the people of middle class and the lower class, not only people with money.  This was the first step they took in reference to the hard system approach.

IKEA Spray diagram



The next step was describing the way it was as per the moment. Ingvar Kamprad the founder of IKEA came up with the idea after noticing that the ordinary people in their community struggled a lot to make end meet outside in the stony fields. Life was hard for the ordinary citizen, it was all about toiling out and sweating in order to gain but it wasn’t enough to get the luxury of good homes the way the rich had. IKEA came into existence and with it came the vision and mission to accomplish. These falls under the third step in the hard system approach, giving objectives, outlining the path way for change (Dahlvg, 2012). With well and improved systems that have been in place IKEA has greatly improved and spreading its wings to increase their market value. Not always do you see someone coming up with an idea and watching it grow because of acting upon it. Have a purpose for what you want to do and be keen to follow up onto it.

Today IKEA’s corporate vision is that of “A community of professionals, constantly developing the skills necessary to create a better everyday life at home for the many people.” This is translated down to a personal vision for IKEA employees: “I, as an employee at IKEA, can make a difference. I am able to help to create something for the benefit of everybody, a better everyday life at home. (Dahlvg, 2012). With clearly stated visions by IKEA there mission was outlined and straight forward. Everyone in the company knew what was to be achieved and why they are there. They had a mission to fulfill; these laid down the foundation under which the company was being ran giving the practical approach perspective. The vision has natured and fostered a good culture and the company hence smooth running of its operation. The spirit has enabled it to with stand the competion in targeted areas of their market, spreading outside their region and expanding.

IKEA’s mission is: “To develop the skills of every IKEA employee, so that they may become professionals in providing a complete range of home decorating products of good form and function at a low price. “The mission for IKEA’s employees is: “I will gain the knowledge necessary to develop myself and my skills so that my work and my life are more meaningful.(I) INNOVATION: Discovering better solutions to reduce costs without affecting quality, finding innovative production methods and materials.(K) KNOWLEDGE: Existing within the business, incorporating 50 years of history and home decorating practice throughout the world.(E) EXPERIENCE: Existing within the stores, incorporating ideas, inspirations relating to home decorating solutions.(A) ACCESSIBILITY: Availability of complete home furnishings at all times at low, appropriate prices.” (Lori, 2016) The next step in the hard system approach is coming up with ways or putting up measures that will show if one is moving on the correct direction and also improve on the ideas that they have in order to achieve the goal. With aid of democratic designs and concepts IKEA there has been great changes as their factory produces goods that are pocket friendly, for example the Oggla chair which was stirred by the Thonet’s Vienna seats, the first seats produced by IKEA at Thonet’s factory a branch of IKEA Company. It had exemplary features well designed, was light in weight, very strong and beautiful too. It was a combination of perfection for the middle class luxury at pocket friendly prices (Dahlvg, 2012). It was one of a kind on its level of comfort easy to stack in the household and could fit in variety of styles. The seat was much comfortable and had elegance. It was a seat of class. Easy to handle and move. With all these features, the seat was cost friendly and affordable.

IKEA  has come up with a distinctive idea, “To offer a wide range of home decorating articles with good form and function, at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.” (S, 2008) these gives them a dimension of which states that the products they produce should be in good form and well-functioning but yet still come at an affordable price for the ordinary person. These come as a challenge in reference to form because its form mostly depends on the purpose or function of the item. They use these metrics as measure of their products. It’s not easy to combine the two ideally in most cases but it’s the key most things in offering quality product that a person desires and gain fulfillment from it without giving it second thoughts. Not only the two; form and function but also affordability plays a huge role in designing items. This is now where they have to consider the ordinary person in terms of cost and getting the item of desire, not closing them out on the deal. It is this unique combination of form, the function of items and its low price that makes IKEA ideal for its purpose, giving it its metric of operations (S, 2008). True to their words the company has covered a mile stone, going to greater heights in order to satisfy their consumers. It targets the majority, although it experiences challenges as it has to go out continually to collect data and find out the needs of the consumer. Consumer needs are ever changing and they have to keep tabs with the flow and what’s trending on the market. It’s always conscious of its consumer needs and demands with detailed information that are been gathered out in the fields and brought back for feedbacks. They keep their products at lower prices that are affordable as they move with the market flow.

With a problem at hand all that remains is the restoration of given satisfactory feedback towards the field giving exemplary performance. With each opportunity that comes through there is a chance of growing. Everyone has a target to achieve. Everyone has to start from somewhere. For instance the beginning of IKEA was simple and all begun with an idea of solving a problem affecting the ordinary man. As per now it has grown and has become influential giving positive feedback to the society and simplifying life for most of the citizen in Sweden (Dahlvg, 2012). IKEA has continually struggled with all efforts to provide best services in the market at low prices, gives beautiful furniture’s of a kind. Their designer’s sits down with other heads in production sectors and suppliers and come up with furniture as a finished product that makes use full use of the production capacity. Most of these products are environmental friendly which are bought at affordable prices, more they can be assembled at the home in order to save more capital. They travel worldwide to gather these important pieces of information. The end product is perfection and doesn’t undermine the ideas of the designers nor lower the quality of these products. (S, 2008)

IKEA ideology is a revolutionary well planned to take the market. In recommendation they should come up with a correct channel that gives them the feedback directly from the consumer without going out to the field to source for information’s in order to avoid being biased and reach out to all. Secondly they should come up with variety of products considering that are reaching out to all at affordable prices.  Thirdly organize a charity fund drive which will help in promoting them effectively and also raise capital to expand on their market .Last but not least, they come up with an event like a completion that allows one or two of their consumer to come and share innovative ideas thus engaging directly to their market stakeholders and spreading wide. Lastly they should improve on their market advertisement and system of advertisement to encourage their growth globally as the world has becoming a smaller market place with the aim of technology. Involvement of all stakeholders without being selective or being biased helps to improve on their output as their vision keeps them on toes towards achieving the common goal set.

Revolutionary marketing


– Customer feedback mechanism


There are various insights gathered from the application of HSM in the case study of IKAE. Taking into consideration that HSM is scientific in nature and requires collection of data and information first in order to do the analysis one needs to identify a problem and gather more information about before thinking of anything else these brings about the expected satisfaction in performance. It must be concrete and well developed.  For once objective to become practical they should have gone and made different ways that they will use to attain their objectives. These give it a stronger base to start from.  Though some of these problems that are affecting us cannot be looked upon by doing research, some are real life situation which needs firsthand information from experiences. Making decision is key important thing in life thus having various impacts. One has to have a well stated method of making decision. No matter how large the organization is, there should be an order to be followed. Some of the options being selected are about the choices and more so making the right ones.  This is where the qualitative part of measurements is brought into play.

One learns that implementation of something is a well-planned design, that is well developed and before being taken into practice it must have a proposal that has been agreed upon. Some of the choices being made by large companies that are well off are being controlled by citizens all over. Their market value is measured and promoted by the number of consumers they have. For a smooth transition that brings about positive transformation each party concerned has to have a way of giving back feedback of the service in order to improve. The goals being set has to be realistic with key guidance to make sure that they are achievable and there is a system that keeps in checks and balance for you to achieve the target that has been set. One has to realize nothing is taken for granted everything has procedure that has to be undertaken and approved. The environment also plays a major role in it. Looking at various fields, different parties come together to bring about fulfillment, there’ s an investor who acts upon an idea to bring about fulfillment to the consumers, both the parties are major stakeholders in whatever decision they make since each rely on one another’s feedback.

The first and for most critic is that these system was developed from only observing the good manners, the decision being made by decision makes and the action made by designers. Although it has evolved over years, it is hard to appreciate the existing relationship the approach and the actual context. With given dominance of the field of science in our modern world and culture, the hard system nature has taken a scientific and academic approach. It’s important to note that some various cycles are repeating in regard to the complexity of science. (Beer, 1966). These has prompted it to failure is seen not being able to meet the requirements of management. The system designed is unambitious. It doesn’t take into account all the variables that are required for efficient output. It bypasses some in order to bring out desired outlook. These bring about instability in the system.

It’s rigid to change and takes a long process to come up with a solution that is effective. It requires a lot of consultation as per the feedback. It does not bring about user satisfaction. It does not give a leeway to which the user gives the feedback or respond to. It does not give avenue for tracing down what the user think about the method. Another critic is documentation problem. It’s expensive and time consuming rendering it valueless as it’s vague thus assuming the knowledge that not all readers can interpret, some give incomplete information. It does not give accurate control measure. Just state the problems and not the solution. It becomes unmanageable while considering it.  It does not give clear and precise system that is to be followed.

It consists of unfulfilled orders and work of the data set being considered. It leaves many task hanging without offering the end result to it. It’s mostly based on engineering angle which has no universal solution to all the problems. To some extent these critic are true, considering the fact that the hard system methodology gives the scientific perspective leaving out the reality part of the experiences. It looks at matters in a scientific angle. Some problems cannot be tackled in such a manner as per the regulation thus leaving details hanging and accumulating more work load.  It may offer solution partly but it needs a person with the knowledge of interpreting the data, making it to be less effective in practical terms.

CATWOE is like a simplified checklist which can is used to kindle or motivate innovations of ideas of problems and how to get there solutions. CATWOE is an acronym that stands for Clients, Actors, Transformation, Weltanschauung, Owners and Environment ( (Scheid, 2013). The main impediment in coming up with solution to issues which are concerned with application of systems principle is crucial problem. Taking it practically in our day to day system, variety of stakeholders tackle the same issues or process them much differently basing with the way it affects them.  With this inconsistency in decision making from various sectors basing on their difference in perception, it creates even more complex choices thus having trouble in solving issues. “Applying the CATWOE systems thinking tools places focus on the existing system or processes that take place within an organization and entails studying how the features of elements within the system or process interact externally and internally” (Scheid, 2013).

The clients who mostly are the customers are the major stakeholders and the system existence is mostly based on them. Step number one in CATWOE is about knowing who the customers are and knowing how they are affected by the system. Basing on our case study our consumers are the ordinary people. The system affects their way of life by making them enjoy life and fulfill their desires at affordable prices. Actors are stakeholders concerned with bring the change. In our case study the actors are the employees of IKAE Company. Transformation, which is considered as the desired change brought about by the system as a whole. It entails listing the inputs and considering the type of change that they undergo to bring out the desired output. Looking at our case study the inputs are the employees labor force and the materials being used to bring out the output which is the affordable products that can perform a given function and is in good shape. Weltanschauung the world view, it is justification of the system transformation. It’s considered as the most crucial step in CATWOE analysis. It’s the products being sold to the market basing on their demand. Owner identifying the owner in our case its IKAE company who has the authority to bring the change. And Finally the Environmental constraints, these include regulations being set, ethical limits, financial constraints, competition and limitation of resources. These include consumer demands of environmental standard goods.











Beer, S. (1966). Decision and Control: the meaning of operational Research and Managment Cybernetics.

Dahlvg, A. (2012). The IKEA edge. Building growth and social good at the World’s most iconic home store. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Lori, M. (2016). The Ikea Handbook. History Ink Books.

S, .. B. (2008). Designers of Ikea. Stockholm: Arvinius.

Scheid, N. N. (2013, 10 17). Bright hub project managment. Retrieved 11 4, 2016, from

Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100
Use the following coupon code :