Case | HBS Case Collection | May 1990 (Revised July 1996)

Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA

by Christopher A. Bartlett and Ashish Nanda


Traces the development of a Swedish furniture retailer under the leadership of an innovative and unconventional entrepreneur whose approaches redefine the nature and structure of the industry. Traces IKEA's growth from a tiny mail order business to the world's largest furniture dealership. Describes the innovative strategic and organizational changes Kamprad made to achieve success. In particular, focuses on his unique vision and values and the way they have become institutionalized as IKEA's binding corporate culture. The trigger issue revolves around whether this vital "corporate glue" can survive massive expansion into the United States and the Eastern Bloc and Kamprad's replacement as CEO by a "professional manager."

Keywords: Restructuring; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Growth and Development; Innovation Strategy; Leadership; Management Succession; Distribution; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Expansion; Value; Retail Industry;


Bartlett, Christopher A., and Ashish Nanda. "Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA." Harvard Business School Case 390-132, May 1990. (Revised July 1996.)