Term paper: Ikea: The Impact of Control Systems and Quality Management on Motivation

In the contemporary business environment, motivation of employees plays a crucial role in the overall success of the organizational performance. At the same time, traditional motivators do not always work or companies cannot always use the full potential of motivators because of they ignore the fact that motivation is closely intertwined with control and the effectiveness of control systems within the organization define, to a significant extent, the motivation of employees.

On the other hand, motivation is important not only to organizations but also to employees. At any rate, judging from my personal experience of work at Ikea, I can estimate that the effective motivation backed up by effective control systems facilitated my work consistently because I was inspired to work better, to work more effectively and productively. Moreover, good, strong motivation made my work pleasant and engaging. In this regard, the effective control system and the focus on the quality management proved to be very effective in terms of employees’ motivation that contributed to the overall improvement of the organizational performance.

Functional and dysfunctional control systems and their impact on motivation

On analyzing the control systems applied by Ikea, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the company tended to imply different control systems which aimed at the thorough control and improvement of the quality of work of employees. At any rate, being an employee at Ikea I always felt the constant control that increased the pressure on me from the part of managers. As the matter of fact, Ikea was traditionally on benchmarking, which I believe is rather dysfunctional than functional, at least in the workplace environment at which I used to work. What is meant here is the fact that the constant comparison and competition of the company with its major rivals and the use of leading companies in the industry as the model to follow their lead made the work of employees quite difficult. In fact, we did not simply focus on our work but, instead, we were rather working to catch up with our major rivals or to close the gap between our performance and the performance of employees of our major rivals. This is why the benchmarking is rather dysfunctional than functional control system because it distracted employees from focusing on their professional duties or to invent original approaches to their work. Instead, this control system rather encouraged to follow the lead of other companies operating in the same industry than to develop original and unique approaches which could be more effective.

At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the benchmarking prevents the introduction of innovations which have never been implemented by competitors. As a result, the company can just catch up with the rivals but it cannot take the leading position, whereas innovations are the major instrument to take the leading position in the industry. The introduction of innovations a priori puts the company in an advantageous position because its rivals do not use advanced innovations. Innovations improve the quality and productiveness of work attracting new customers. However, to motivate employees to develop and introduce innovations other control systems, but benchmarking are needed.

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