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Paper info: Global Sourcing Development at IKEA - a Case Study


Global Sourcing Development at IKEA - a Case Study


Jens Hultman
Lund University
Jens Hultman ,
Rhona Johnsen
Rhona Johnsen ,
Susanne Hertz
Jönköping International Business School
Susanne Hertz and
Thomas Johnsen
Thomas Johnsen

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.


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This study explores the dynamic process of global sourcing development through a case study of the Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA and its supply network concerning the PAX wardrobe system. The paper provides a synthesis of the existing global sourcing literature by dividing this growing body of research into three major themes: globalization processes and stages, motives/drivers, and organizational design and management. Moreover, the paper integrates the global sourcing literature with the established literature on the internationalization process of firms. Comparing the existing research on global sourcing and internationalization, we propose two research questions focused on: (1) the ways in which the IKEA global sourcing and supply chain development process resembles a linear stages process, and (2) the principal drivers of the development of global sourcing within IKEA. Relating the findings of the global sourcing process in the case of IKEA, the paper suggests that the process does not fit the linear and incremental stage processes as suggested in the majority of global sourcing literature, but rather fits the interaction and network process model as suggested in the network school of internationalization.