Competing Values Framework

The Competing Values Framework (CVF) is a well-known means to characterize individual and organizational leadership (Cameron et al., 2007) widely used for evaluating organizational culture. It is based on empirical evidence and is an accurate representation of reality. (Cameron, 2011) The CVF was derived from research conducted on the major indicators of effective organizations. (Cameron, 2011)

As any tool, the CVF has strengths and weaknesses that users must be aware of to ensure effective use. At the center of the strengths and weaknesses is the fact that the CVF is intimately tied to individual change. (Cameron, 2011) This can be a strength if applied properly in an organizational setting. If members of the organization understand the central focus is based on their growth and development, the buy-in of the members can be boosted. As change in members yield growth and development, morale of the members goes up, and the success of the organization increases. The focus on individual change of the CVF is the strength that allows it to be an effective organizational growth tool.

At the same time, individual change can be a weakness of the CVF. Because the focus is on individual change, there is the opportunity for organizations to become too involved with the details of individual change, which can slow down progress and development. In order to allow for individual growth and change it requires a focus on the details of the individual change and the systems and procedures that measure such change. There is also a large amount of data that must be collected in order to gauge change success and growth trajectory. The challenge of such is a system of data collection and methodology that is employee administered can cause significant flaws. (Schimmoeller, 2010)

What sector of business will this framework work best?


Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (2011). Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework (3 edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Cameron, K. S., Quinn, R. E., DeGraff, J., & Thakor, A. V. (2007). Competing Values Leadership: Creating Value in Organizations. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Lavine, M. (2014). Paradoxical Leadership and the Competing Values Framework. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 50(2), 189–205.

Schimmoeller, L. J. (2010). Leadership Styles in Competing Organizational Cultures. Leadership Review, vol. 10(Summer), pp.125 – 141.


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