Supplementing the Competing Values Framework

The Competing Values Framework (CVF) is a powerful tool used for assessing existing organizational culture and equipping organizations with a broad overview of their cultural makeup. Organizations can then create a strategy to navigate toward a desired cultural existence. The CVF is developed from research on the major indicators of effective organizations, and is based on empirical evidence represented in real situations. (Cameron, 2011) It has proven its usefulness and applicability in many sectors of business throughout the world (Cameron, 2011, p.28) and become the most frequently used instrument for assessing organizational culture. Despite the success of the CVF, it is vital for organizations and leaders to realize there are other tools available for cultural evaluation, and some can even supplement the CVF and evaluate areas that are glossed over or missed by the CVF.

In order to successfully manage organizational culture, the leadership needs to possess and good understanding of how the members of the organization perceive the culture. (Schein, 1984) Schein identifies three levels of culture that contain certain elements necessary to understanding an organization’s culture: artifacts, espoused beliefs and values, and basic underlying assumptions. Though these can be contained within the quadrants of the CVF, they are not necessarily identified, and can present major navigational challenges for leaders. Schein (2010) proposes a rapid deciphering process of assessment that can equip leadership with the specifics of the three categories to assist in cultural change navigation. Though it can not replace the CVF, it can act as a supplement providing detailed information the CVF may not be able to identify due to the broad overview it takes.


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.

Schein, E. H. (1984). Coming to a new awareness of organizational culture.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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