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Transforming Organizational Culture using the Competing Values Framework

In the constant evolution of becoming more and more competitive and changing an aspect of the way it conducts business, an organization must address first its corporate culture and the internal values that drive its people, programs, and policies.


Kim Cameron, PhD, a leading researcher in organizational leadership, defined the Competing Values Framework as “a map, an organizing mechanism, a sense-making device, a source of new ideas, and a theory of management and organizational performance.”

The key model of this type is Cameron and Quinn’s competing values framework (CVF) which compares organizations on whether they are internally or externally focused, and whether they are flexible or goal-focused. Based on these two dimensions, a company can be classified as collaborative, creative, controlling, or competing.

By comparing how companies fall along dimension 1 and dimension 2, the model helps predict what types of tools and techniques might be most effective in a particular organization based on its culture.

How does the Competing Values Framework creating value for your company?

There is no right or wrong answer when trying to figure out what type of organization you are. The best place to start is choosing what kind of organization you want to be and disseminating those values throughout the organization. Seems simple, yes? But not easy.


Companies must be competent in all four quadrants of the competing values framework to be profitable because some situations require more than one approach to problem-solving.

The competing values framework illustrates the importance of positive tension by putting together the right combination of people with different competencies to produce the required types of innovations. Add to that, individual stakeholder value propositions and cross them with the organization's cultural doctrine and soon you see why weekend workshops and lunchtime yoga alone don't provide for sustainable workplace morale boosters. 


Cameron and Quinn’s competing values framework (CVF) 
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