Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.

The Dexterity of the Competing Values Framework (CVF): Organizational Design, Leadership, Culture, & More

The Competing Values Framework (CVF), developed by Robert Quinn and Jon Rohrbaugh in the 1980s, is a management theory that was developed initially from research done on the major indicators of effective organizational performance. Based on statistical analyses of a comprehensive list of effectiveness indicators, Quinn and Rohrbaugh discovered 2 major dimensions underlying conceptions of effectiveness, focused on:

  1. Organizational focus
  2. Organizational preference for structure

Together, the 2 dimensions form 4 quadrants, with each quadrant unique and defining sets of values and implications.

This model has been found useful for organizing and understanding a variety of topics related to Organizational Design, and extending beyond, including Leadership Development and Organizational Culture. Here is a broad list of topics where we can apply CVF:

  • Organizational Design
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Leadership Competencies
  • Organizational Culture
  • Stages of Life Cycle Development
  • Organizational Quality
  • Leadership Roles
  • Financial Strategy
  • Information Processing
  • Brain Functioning

Below is a diagram capturing the essence of this framework:

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into each of the quadrants.

Collaborate – Human Relations Model

The top-left quadrant places a lot of emphasis on flexibility and internal focus. It stresses cohesion, morale, and human resources development as criteria for effectiveness. 

General competences and attributes for organizations in this quadrant include teamwork, collaboration, talent management, empowerment, or inter-personal relationships.  Key value drivers include commitment, communication, and development.

Leaders fitting this collaborative orientation tend to fit the profile of facilitators, mentors, and team builders.  Facilitators tend to manage conflict well, using participative decision making.

Create – Open System Model

The top-right quadrant emphasizes flexibility and external focus, and stresses readiness, growth, resource acquisition, and external support. Tools and techniques, including innovation, creativity, articulating future vision, transformation change, or entrepreneurship, are highlighted here.

Control – Internal Process Model

The bottom-left quadrant emphasizes control and an internal focus; and stresses the role of information management, communication, stability, and control. Tools and techniques, including assessing and measuring, controlling processes, structuring, efficiency improvement, or quality enhancement, are highlighted here.

Compete – Rational Goal Model

The final quadrant emphasizes control and an external focus. It regards planning, goal setting, productivity, and efficiency as being effective. Tools and techniques, including competitiveness, fast response, decisiveness, driving through barriers, or goal achievement, are highlighted here.

Interested in gaining more understanding of CVF?  You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about the Competing Values Framework (CVF) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

About David Tang

David Tang is an entrepreneur and management consultant. His current focus is Flevy, the marketplace for premium business documents (e.g. business frameworks, presentation templates, financial models). Prior to Flevy, David worked as a management consultant for 8 years. His consulting experience spans corporate strategy, marketing, operations, change management, and IT; both domestic and international (EMEA + APAC). Industries served include Media & Entertainment, Telecommunications, Consumer Products/Retail, High-Tech, Life Sciences, and Business Services. You can connect with David here on LinkedIn.

, , ,

Complimentary Business Training Guides

Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]   This 48-page whitepaper, authored by consultancy Envisioning, provides the frameworks, tools, and insights needed to manage serious Change—under the backdrop of the business lifecycle. These lifecycle stages are each marked by distinct attributes, challenges, and behaviors. [Learn more]
We've developed a very comprehensive collection of Strategy & Transformation PowerPoint templates for you to use in your own business presentations, spanning topics from Growth Strategy to Brand Development to Innovation to Customer Experience to Strategic Management. [Learn more]   We have compiled a collection of 10 Lean Six Sigma templates (Excel) and Operational Excellence guides (PowerPoint) by a multitude of LSS experts. These tools cover topics including 8 Disciplines (8D), 5 Why's, 7 Wastes, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and DMAIC. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function






The Flevy Business Blog (https://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most articles have been contributed for management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience. If you would like to contribute an article, please email our editor David Tang at [email protected].

Flevy (https://flevy.com) is the marketplace for premium business documents, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our documents are of the same caliber produced by top tier consulting firms, like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte. Learn more about Flevy here.

Connect with Flevy:


About Flevy.com   /   Terms   /   Privacy Policy
© 2020. Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.