The Management Of Valve Corporation

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1.0 Introduction “A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do.” (Valve Corporation 2012) The abstract to Valve’s employee handbook gives a concise representation of the organisation’s values; that is, the freedom of employees to be their own manager. While this may seem ideal to some, contextually, it has led to Valve’s failure to exercise organisational control over its employees and products, for example, its release of Half Life 2 thirteen months after schedule (Valve Developer Community 2016). This report will address three potential implications of Valve’s ‘No Manager’ Company, including power, task delegation and accountability and ethics, as well as provide conclusions and recommendations.…show more content…
Despite its mishaps, Valve is still praised as an innovative company, one management theorist Mary Parker Follett would describe as manipulating coactive power (Melé 2003), which refers to workers holding shared power. If not holding coactive power, an organisation would use coercive power, or sometimes referred to as ‘power over’ (Melé 2003). The theory, however, does not complement the case study; Valve evidently lacks either form of power, still experiencing the ‘Valve Time’ phenomenon to this day with its recently late releases of updates to Team Fortress 2 (Valve Developer Community 2016). With Valve’s ineffective use of power also comes its failure to appropriately delegate tasks, also leading to poor organisational performance, seen continually as late releases. Employees are encouraged to select projects at their discretion, demonstrating the lack of formal and informal task delegation. Instead, Valve trusts its employees to align exclusively to McGregor’s Theory Y which describes workers who are highly motivated, want to work, and demonstrate innovation (Sorensen, Minahan 2011). Despite good-natured employees, the literature supports that employees still require delegation for high performance outcomes, with Ben-Nera et al. 2014 arguing, “[Tasks] are designed for efficiency relative to

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