Competing Values Framework Worldwide

One of the greatest assets any leader of an organization is to have a broad, clear understanding of the overall culture he is leading. The Competing Values Framework (CVF) has served as an effective tool of culture evaluation and identification for numerous organizations. The CVF has proven to possess a high degree of harmony with well-known and well-accepted schemes used to organize individual behavior in cultural contexts; primarily the way people think, the values and assumptions they possess, and the how they process information. (Cameron, 2011) The CVF systematically highlights the contradictory nature inherent in organizational environments, while also taking into account the complex number of choices managers must face attempting to referee these competing tensions. (Belasen, 2008, p. 128)

One concern of applying an instrument that identifies organizational culture would be the cross-cultural applicability of it. One of the general concerns of the CVF is that labels used for the quadrants – clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchy – can present challenges of understanding for business executives and nonacademic audiences, (Cameron, 2011) so is there a broad application for the CVF? Can the instrument be used in organizations existing worldwide, or can it be used for an organization located in parts of the world where there are different macrocultures in play?

Though developed in the United States in English, (Cameron, 2011, pp. 27-28) and used throughout the country effectively, the CVF has proven its effectiveness on a global stage. The instrument’s value has been validated through adoption by many different industries in many different countries throughout the world. (Cameron, 2011, p. 27-28) It has become the most frequently used instrument for assessing organizational culture in the world today. (Cameron, 2011, p. 27)

Is there a learning curve of application for the CVF and other cultures, or is there a seamless transition?


Belasen, A., & Frank, N. (2008). Competing Values Leadership: Quadrant Roles and Peronality Traits. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 29(iss. 2), pp. 127–143.

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.

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