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:
- Organizational focus
- 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.
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.
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