Valve’s Organization: Opportunities and open questions

Georg von Krogh, Nina Geilinger

Abstract


Valve is a very interesting case study! The company shares many features with open source software projects. In Valve, as in the open source world, the focus is on creating advanced technologies and letting developers self-select projects and tasks. Self-selection seems to work particularly well in an environment where technology development itself has a coordinating function. In software development, people have a strong bond of common knowledge based on design philosophies and approaches, language and terminology, and engineering tasks. In most cases, they also share a similar educational background and/or development experience that helps them implement creative ideas in physical machines and graphic environments. Developers rarely rely on detailed instructions from higher-level managers because they already have the implicit knowledge of what needs to be done. When inconsistent views about development come to the forefront, they are best reconciled where the knowledge resides: with the experts. Moreover, it appears that Valve has uncovered how developers’ self-selection of projects and tasks can be a powerful motivator to unleash their creativity.

Keywords


new forms of organizing; organizational forms; non-hierarchical organizations; self-organizing teams; boss-less organizations

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/jod.20159

Comments on this article

View all comments
 |  Add comment

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how the site is used. The cookies cannot identify you or any content at your own computer.
OK


ISSN: 2245-408X

Hosted by The State and University Library - Aarhus