Buurtzorg is a Dutch home care company founded in 2006 by its CEO and founder Jos de Blok. From a small team of nurses, it has become the largest home care company in the Netherlands. The company employs over 7,000 and adopted self-management practices when it was founded.


Research Summary


This research, profiling Buurtzorg, was carried out by Marina Martínez López and supervised by Professor Ana Moreno Romero at Grupo de Investigación en Organizaciones Sostenibles ETSII–UPM. Masters Thesis: Analysis of new organizational models and trends in self-management. Full Thesis.


Scheme of self-management Mixed: Parallel teams  Value Chain Short
Type of previous organization Trend in the Netherlands to a dehumanization of the home care sector, when looking for a systematic increase in productivity.
Keys to success
  • Teams work in a totally self-managed and independent way in their neighbourhood, assuming all the administrative tasks associated with their activity: planning, finances, strategy...
  • Balanced distribution of administrative tasks: there is no team leader.
  • Emergence of natural or realization hierarchies, which recognize the differential value provided by the members of the team.
  • Great value given to the training on the way of working in self-management and its optimization: coaching, initial course...
  • Formalized decision-making procedure: after discussion and enrichment of the proposals, ideas without objection of principle are accepted. It allows to avoid the exhausting decision-making by consensus.
  • Promotion of cohesion and communication between nurses of different groups thanks to a full of life and totally transparent Intranet.
  • Incentive to the teams when making the productivity classification public.
  • Attracting talent by recovering the essence of nursing work: patient care and the promotion of their autonomy.


Obstacles or inconveniences identified by organizations
  • Doubts, frustration and confusion when facing this new level of freedom and responsibility.


 Disadvantages perceived making the case
  • Salary recognition of differential value contributions.
  • Risk that, within the team, a person begins to accumulate roles of greater importance and assume a role of boss.


 CEO´s roles
  • Jos de Blok fulfils the three roles of the CEO enunciated by Laloux: it is the image of the company on the outside, its internal model and "holds the space" to allow its organization to continue developing without external interference. He shares their way of working in numerous talks and seminars.
 Wholeness  Yes  Evolutionary Purpose  Yes


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