Towards a playful organization ideal-type: values of a playful organizational culture

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Numerous organizations have embarked on playful endeavors such as serious gaming (playing games with a learning/training purpose) and 'gamification' (applying game technology and principles to make existing practices more game-like). One could consequently theorize about the dawn of playful organizations, i.e. a type of organization that is culturally and structurally playful. This article offers a first step towards a playful organization theory. It specifically offers a conceptual framework of a playful organizational culture. Following a review of play theory as well as organization and management theory that was inspired by play, the author describes a playful organizational culture as encompassing contingency, opportunism, equivalence, instructiveness, meritocracy and conviviality as values. The framework offers leaders, managers and game/play designers opportunities to further develop playful endeavors for organizations. It also offers social scientists opportunities to further research the emergence and issues of playful organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventDIGRA Conference "Think Design Play'; 2011 - Utrecht, The Netherlands
Duration: 15 Sep 201115 Sep 2011


ConferenceDIGRA Conference "Think Design Play'; 2011
CityUtrecht, The Netherlands


  • Conceptual framework
  • Organization
  • Organizational culture
  • Play theory
  • Playfulness


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