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Competing Values

is all about

Who you are within your


What is it?

COMPETING VALUES was developed initially from research conducted by University of Michigan faculty members on the major indicators of effective organizational performance.


It has been found to be an extremely useful model for organizing and understanding a wide variety of organizational and individual phenomena, including theories of organizational effectiveness, leadership competencies, organizational culture, organizational design, stages of life cycle development, organizational quality, leadership roles, financial strategy, information processing, and brain functioning.

The robustness of the framework is one of its

greatest strengths. In fact, the framework has

been identified as one of the 40 most important frameworks in the history of business.

Why is it valuable?

At the University of Michigan, the Competing

Values Framework is used to organize an approach to leadership and management development.


Individual leadership competencies,

for example, are developed and improved in

the context of the organization’s culture, its

strategic competencies, financial strategies,

pressing problems, and desired outcomes. All

of these factors are measured by instruments

based on the Competing Values Framework.

The Archetypes


  • Build teams, do things together

  • Commitment, empowerment

  • Human development

  • Cohesion, engagement

  • Collective wisdom, long-lasting partnerships, and relationships

  • Roles like a mentor and a coach

  • Wary of conflict


  • Create, innovate, envision the future

  • Handle discontinuity, change, and risk

  • Freedom of thought and action, rule-breaking

  • Thoughtful experimentation, learning from mistakes, failing fast

  • Roles like entrepreneurs and visionaries

  • Visionaries inclined toward risk, not afraid of uncertainty


  • Compete, move fast, play to win

  • Monitor signals from the market and customers

  • Deliver shareholder value

  • Speed: results-right-now

  • Getting things done, achieving goals

  • Acquiring other firms, outsourcing selected processes,

  • Investing in customer satisfaction, attacking the market position of competitors

  • Delivering results, making fast decisions, driving through barriers to achieve results

  • Leaders are hard-driving, directive, commanding, demanding


  • Better, cheaper, surer

  • Eliminate errors

  • Increase consistency and reliability

  • Better processes and efficiency

  • Routines

  • Roles like organizers and administrators

  • Attention to details, careful decisions, precise analyses

  • Conservative, cautious, logical problem solvers

  • Technical experts that are well-informed

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