Fan Ye will help to develop a national guideline for transportation practitioners that describes and evaluates the visibility and safety benefits of retroreflective pavement markers for nighttime driving, particularly during wet weather. Past support from the NWCA to ONU has funded a senior capstone project and several other research projects leading to three student presentations at the Ohio Academy of Science meetings as well as two students presenting at the American Society for Microbiology conference.
The company was founded in by Ingvar Kamprad and kept growing tremendously from 2 stores in to stores in to stores in in 24 countries welcoming a total of million visitors.
Its key feature of providing self-assembled furniture starting from significantly cut transport and storage costs. Besides its success stories, the company has faced environmental and social issues.
The environmental issue in the early s was raised as IKEA products were proved to emit more Formaldehyde than was allowed by legislation. The reason is that most of its suppliers bought from subsuppliers, who collected materials from glue manufacturers.
Afterward, the company worked directly with glue companies and reduced the formaldehyde off-gassing in its products.
IKEA learned a lesson; publicity can bring a great loss in sales, not counting the damage to the brand image. In regard to social issues, the company confronted the child labor problem, which this paper mainly discusses about. In the spring ofanother film is threaten to be shown on German television about children working at looms at Rangan Exports, a company used by IKEA and the producer then invited IKEA to send someone to take part in a live discussion during the airing of the program.
These events urged the company to consider environmental and social issues more seriously. Environmental and Social Issues: Cost of Globalization On the process of globalization, IKEA needs to get the cheapest supplies and therefore go to countries that offer cheap labor.
However, these developing countries such as India, Pakistan and Nepal are facing a lot of social issues about human rights. When IKEA set its foot in these countries, it could not avoid these problems.
Its corporate strategy style partly exacerbates, instead of helps the situation. IKEA realizes the challenge and questions Christopher a bartlett u srinivasa rangan how deeply the company wants to engage and to help eliminate local social issues of child labor.
At the initial period, the way that IKEA dealt with Formaldehyde and forestry issues showed its engagement in social responsibility still remained at the reactive step but not yet at the proactive step or interactive step. This inadequate engagement explains why the company keeps undergoing social and environmental issues pushed by the public.
IKEA is outstanding at new ideas for marketing but the company is still passive in social responsibility action.
To fix this weakness, IKEA needs to be more aware of social responsibility and potential upcoming social issues. Moreover, those issues lead to a big damage to brand image.
In the case the company confronts child labor issue and customers perceive that the low price they benefit is by child labor exploitation in India, customers will react by avoiding products from IKEA which results in a drop in sales.
However, if IKEA withdraws from India market, it will restrain itself from a big opportunity of cheap labor and put the company at disadvantage position as other competitors like Wal-Mart is accessing the same opportunities to compete for lower product prices. IKEA therefore should not look for a new business opportunity by withdrawing from India but keep up with the trend and get ahead of the issue and its rivals.
Some people may argue that if the company is actively involved with the issue, it may undergo a drop in profit compared to its competitors. The threat may hold true in the short run.
However, IKEA can turn the threat into an opportunity in the long run by actively involving and publicizing its achievement to let customers appreciate the effort.
Afterward, IKEA will soon be better off, with better profit and better brand image. The way out First we take a look at how the company responded to environmental and social issues when they first emerged. The company started showing its progress from reactive to proactive steps in addressing social responsibility when it approached forestry event.
This time, IKEA anticipated the forestry issue and solved the problem before it was raised by public pressure. Instead of investigating at its suppliers level as the company did in the Formaldehyde case, this time IKEA was ready to trace all wood used in its products back to its source.
Referring to the child labor problem raised by a Swedish television documentary which showed children in Pakistan working at weaving looms, we first look at how IKEA addressed the event according to the case document.
The fact that India, Pakistan, and Nepal were not signatories to the convention implies it is unreasonable to accuse IKEA of violating the law of child labor. Still, this fact did not help IKEA much as child labor is an ethical issue.
The third step was to appoint a third-party agent to monitor child labor practices at its suppliers in India and Pakistan. So what Barner initially did is compatible with the situation until the child labor issue called for more specific actions in the next event.
To deal with this complex situation, it is recommended that IKEA should participate in the program. Up to that point, the company had gained some positive achievements to the child labor issue since the problem was first raised by Swedish television.
IKEA possibly mentions its spirit of not avoiding mistakes to search for creative solutions. With a carefully considered plan, participating in the television program would help save the brand and image.
After the television program, IKEA needs to come up with a solution for the case and the long-term strategy to deal with child labor issue. Barner may need to make a trip to Rangan Exports and investigate the case thoroughly.
All the children working there should be collected and offered education opportunities. The company needs to create its own children budget to help children discovered working at the company.Note: Citations are based on reference standards.
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Kentucky Fried Chicken (Japan) Ltd. by Christopher A. Bartlett, U. Srinivasa Rangan Advanced Medical Technology Corp. by Thomas R. Piper Donna Dubinsky and Apple Computer, Inc.
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Chris M. Bishko is Chief Financial Officer at Credible Labs, Inc. View Chris M. Bishko’s professional profile on Relationship Science, The company was incorporated by Sriram Raghavan and Srinivasa Ravi Rangan on March 22, and is headquartered in .
Keynote by Srinivasa Rangan, Luksic Chair Professor of Strategy and Global Studies, Babson College on “Competitiveness of Indian Firms” Panel discussion on Competing in . Funded Proposals The following is a list of recent ONU proposals that have been funded.
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