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International Journal of Business and Management

A Review of Study on the Competing Values Framework
Tianyuan Yu Institute of Enterprise Management, School of Business, Sun Yat-Sen University International Finance College, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai Campus Jin Feng Lu, Tangjiawan, Zhuhai 519085, China Tel: 86-756-6126-600 E-mail: tianyuanyu@gmail.com Nengquan Wu Institute of Enterprise Management, School of Business, Sun Yat-Sen University The Competing Values Framework (CVF) is one of the most influential and extensively used models in the area of organizational culture research. Compared with other models and scales, the CVF and its matched scale OCAI have better validity and reliability in the context of China, and are very convenient for practical operations. This article firstly introduces the development of the CVF, and discusses the meanings and prerequisites of different culture types in the CVF. Then the article briefly reviews some empirical studies using the CVF and OCAI, compares the CVF and OCAI with other major organizational culture models and scales, and finally points out future research areas for CVF’s application in China. Keywords: Competing values framework, Organizational culture, Effectiveness 1. The development of the CVF

The Competing Values Framework (CVF) was initially based on research to identify indicators of organizational effectiveness (Quinn and Rohrbaugh, 1983, p.363). Effectiveness is a central theme in the organizational literature whereas its definition is perennially controversial. In a literature review Campbell (1977) identified 30 different criteria of effectiveness. Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983, p.365) held that the choices of particular criteria usually reflect personal values about the appropriate emphases in the domain of effectiveness. They invited 52 organizational researchers to order the criteria listed by Campbell (1977) and then derived three value dimensions: internal-external, control-flexibility, means-ends. They integrated the third dimension into the other two ones and established the CVF, as shown in Figure 1(Quinn and Rohrbaugh, 1983, p.369). One may certainly argue that it is insufficient to measure organizational culture values by only two or three dimensions. But CVF does not attempt to explore the panorama of organizational culture. Rather, it looks at the value dimensions related to effectiveness. Moreover, this model can integrate most organizational culture dimensions proposed in the literature. 2. The connotations of the CVF

2.1 The meanings of dimensions in the CVF Figure 1 illustrates the CVF. The first value dimension is related to organizational focus, from an internal, micro emphasis on the well-being and development of people in the organization to an external, macro emphasis on the well-being and development of the organization itself. The second value dimension is related to organizational structure, from an emphasis on stability to an emphasis on flexibility. Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983, p.370) pointed out that these two sets of competing values are recognized dilemmas in the organizational literature. For instance, Denison and Mishra’s (1995, p.209) case study illustrated that employee involvement activities can lapse into insularity and have a limited, or even negative impact on effectiveness, for the organization may overemphasize the internal integration and neglect the adaptation to the external environment. Similarly, the differing viewpoints in considering order and control versus innovation and change are at the heart of the most heated debates in sociology, political science, and psychology. 37

Vol. 4, No. 7

International Journal of Business and Management

While many social theorists have emphasized authority, structure, and coordination, others have stressed diversity, individual initiative, and organizational adaptability. The two dimensions of the CVF classify four models, each one containing a different set of...
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