Organization Zoo: Valve

Beginning with this issue of JOD (v. 4, #2), we are launching a periodic series called “Organization Zoo.” Conceived by Associate Editors Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson and Phanish Puranam, Organization Zoo is intended to analyze new or unusual organizational forms. The objective of the series is to examine organizations that have recently appeared, or which would be considered as outliers compared to traditional organizations, in order to learn more about what particular organizational forms can do as well as their drawbacks.

Each edition of Organization Zoo will be built on a case. The organization zoo already has many animals, but sometimes a new or unusual animal appears. We want to describe this new animal and how it behaves, and we want to analyze rare animals to make certain that we fully understand them. First, the case will be presented, and then several commentators will offer their thoughts and opinions about the organization.

The first case in our series is on Valve Corporation, an American video game development and digital distribution company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Our case commentators are Carliss Baldwin, Julian Birkinshaw, Teppo Felin, Nicolai Foss & Magdalena Dobrajska, Lars Kolind, Georg von Krogh & Nina Geilinger, and Todd Zenger. We hope that the case and its commentators’ observations will provide you with a rich understanding of a new or unusual form of organizing.

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