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The IKEA Edge: Building Global Growth and Social Good at the World's Most Iconic Home Store [Hardcover]

Anders Dahlvig
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 2011

Praise for The IKEA Edge

“A very good book from a talented business leader [that links] values, culture, and the achievement of business and social objectives together. I have read it now three times and learned something from every passage.”
—Michael Spence, recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 2001

“With Anders Dahlvig’s recommendations, we could solve many of the world’s problems by persuading the big multinationals to change their Memorandum and Articles of Association. Big business working in the interests of humanity would be a powerful tool.”
—Gordon Roddick, cofounder of The Body Shop

“The IKEA Edge is a fascinating case study of an entrepreneurial company’s growth to maturity. Anders Dahlvig is incisive and surprisingly straightforward in sharing the IKEA story. As a fourth-generation family business owner, I recognize the inherent paradox of building a ‘good,’ value-driven company and managing for profit. Anders Dahlvig proves it can be done.”
—Antonia Axson Johnson, Chairperson, Axel Johnson AB

About the Book:

With Anders Dahlvig at the helm from 1999 to 2009, the furniture giant IKEA averaged 11 percent yearly sales growth and annual operating profits in excess of 10 percent. The company hired more than 70,000 new employees and opened new stores around the world—all while maintaining its reputation as one of the world’s best corporate citizens.

In The IKEA Edge, Dahlvig tells the story of how IKEA matured from an entrepreneurial startup to a leader in the furniture industry. He recounts his 26-year career at the company and what he learned along the way. In his rise from store manager to president, Dahlvig developed the unique vision he relied upon to lead IKEA through good times and bad—by combining traditional business goals like profit and growth with the progressive interests of social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Dahlvig proves that these objectives, which are usually viewed as polar opposites, can actually work wonders together.

The IKEA Edge serves as an expansive case study for “doing good business while being a good business.” Dahlvig clearly lays out the cornerstones that support IKEA: a vision of social responsibility; market leadership with a balanced global portfolio; differentiation through control of the value chain; and building for the long term—four principles that can be applied in any business, in any industry. social and business agenda—and it continues to grow, even during the worst global recession in history. In a time when the public’s trust of business has hit bottom, such an approach to business is more critical than ever.

A combination of personal memoir, call to action, and strategic vision, The IKEA Edge provides the inspiration and information you need to develop a social-good/good-business agenda for your own company. Public trust, brand recognition, customer loyalty, and a world-class reputation will soon follow.


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Product Description

About the Author

Anders Dahlvig is the former president and CEO of IKEA. In 2006, he received the U.S. Foreign Policy Association’s Global Social Responsibility Award, and in 2009 he earned the Oslo Business for Peace Award. Dahlvig is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences, such as GDI International Conference on Retailing, UN Global Compact Summit, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Greenpeace Annual Conference, ECR Europe, and World Retail Congress.


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Most helpful customer reviews
By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
What's in a name?

If the name is Ikea, it tells you who founded the company (Ingvar Kamprad) and the village in Sweden in which he was born and raised (Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd). It is also a name that has become synonymous throughout the world for a wide range of home furnishing self-assembly products as well as stylish but durable accessories of the highest quality.

The title of this review refers to the fact that most of the companies annually ranked among the most highly admired and best to work for are also ranked among those most profitable and having the greatest cap value. In my opinion, that is not a coincidence. As a former president and CEO of IKEA, Anders Dahlvig, explains in this book, global growth enables global social good. Moreover, because global social good is more important to consumers than ever before, those companies who have earned renown for their commitment to it are more likely to thrive. With regard to employees, Dahlvig observes, "I've come to believe most people feel motivated and happy is work has a bigger meaning beyond power, wealth, and other inflated statements." In order words, be associated with, indeed engaged in an organization that is "contributing to a better society."

What specifically are the most important prerequisites for retail companies to deliver true value to society as well as to shareholders? Dahlvig suggests four defining characteristics:

1. A vision with a social ambition combined with a strong value base
2. A business model wherein the product range and price are the main differentiators between you and the competition
3. Market leadership and a balanced global portfolio of markets that defines the company's short- and long-term growth ambitions
4.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Inside Scoop March 23 2012
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
'Companies should seek to deliver value in a broader sense than merely returning value for shareholders.' - Anders Dahlvig

As a former CEO of one of the world's largest furniture retail stores, Dahlvig shares with his readers the ongoing saga behind IKEA's incredible success. It is first and foremost an extraordinary vision that has been crafted to answer to a wide range of needs in society: safeguarding the environment; promoting the interests of the customer; rewarding worker creativity; and having the right people in leadership. Near the end of the last century, Dahlvig and his management team recognized that IKEA needed to become more socially responsible for the products they sold if they were to maintain its dominant market share. This meant focusing on furniture that was inexpensive, ergonomic, attractive and not a big strain on natural resources. The centre of the home - kitchen, living room and bedroom - became the centrepiece of the IKEA marketing efforts worldwide on four different continents. It is a company that does everything to portray the family lifestyle as a set of values based on living comfortably in the most economic fashion possible. As Dahlvig describes the IKEA concept, it is something that has to be changed and refined over time to reach its level of popularity today. Nothing in this vision has happened by chance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for young Pastors Feb. 13 2013
By Robert Schipul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anders Dahlvig writes a surprising history of one of the most successful companies in the world. The premise could be adapted to any endeavor. There was a religious tone to his review. Just think about how effective a church community would be if it focused on the Ikea principals of believing in your product, wanting as many people as possible to have it, making it the best product out there and expecting your adherents to live their lives with one employed! Isn't that what the "Good News" of the Christian Church has always been found in God's Word?
Circuit Rider
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Responsible Capitalism Nov. 13 2012
By Mr G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Dahlvig describes history and "inner workings" of IKEA to make a more general point about responsible capitalism. There is a clear tension between a capitalism driven solely by profit maximization (where profit is the ultimate goal) and a capitalism driven by social ambitions (where profit is a necessary means). Dahlvig believes that companies can be successful while advancing the social good, and offers IKEA as a living proof. The success does not come in spite of it's social ambitions, but because of them. They give the solid long-term reference that makes that company connect successfully with the whole range of stakeholders (employers, customers, local governments, ...).

The picture painted is fairly rosy, and I have done no work to verify the claims made. The book is easy to read and non technical, but still offers some interesting insights about how a successful global retailer is run.

(note: I bought this book because I heard Dahlvig's talk at the London School of Economis - LSE - and found it inspiring. Look it up on the web. He's more convincing and passionate "live" than on paper)
3.0 out of 5 stars Some bits missing? June 26 2014
By Jammer13 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good, steady, informative read. Honest with a careful style to avoid any potential conflicts, but as a result not revelatory, deliberately, or inspiring. Still if you can be that successful in this way there's hope for us all.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ebook very useful March 12 2013
By L. Meneo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you wanted to learn about IKEA going global and its challenges as well as success stories this is a great book. Benchmark for many companies, especially in the furniture industry.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Resource for Business and Mgmt Students July 28 2012
By Edie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Ikea Edge was written by former CEO Anders Dahlvig who spent 26 years with the company. The last ten years, from 1999 to 2009, as its leader. The reason he decided to write this book was to reinforce his belief that the success of the company was their adherence to traditional business goals while also stressing the importance of social and environmental responsibility.

While Dahlvig shares personal experiences of his time at Ikea, he also lays out a roadmap for other companies who are interested in learning from his experience. After all, Ikea continued to grow and thrive while many companies around the world were going out of business.

Reading this book and following key ideas will help guide business leaders and the heads of companies who want to replicate the success of Ikea. This is a must read book for students who are attending classes in business management and marketing, or anyone who wants to learn how to become a better leader, business owner, or CEO.

The IKEA Edge: Building Global Growth and Social Good at the World's Most Iconic Home Store
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