Competing Values Leadership

Competing Values Leadership

Creating Value in Organizations

New Horizons in Management series

Kim S. Cameron, Robert E. Quinn, Jeff DeGraff and Anjan V. Thakor

Creating value in a firm is an enormously complex endeavor. Yet, despite its complexity, value creation is the objective of every enterprise, every worker, and every leader. The Competing Values Framework can help leaders understand more deeply and act more effectively. In the first book to comprehensively present this framework, the authors discuss its core elements and focus attention on rethinking the notion of value. They emphasize specific tools and techniques leaders can use to institute sustainable change.

Chapter 5: Creating Value Through New Leadership Behaviors

Kim S. Cameron, Robert E. Quinn, Jeff DeGraff and Anjan V. Thakor

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, international business


As we have asserted several times, the most successful organizations (and leaders) – those that create superior levels of value – tend to be simultaneously paradoxical. They are more differentiated as well as more integrated than their peer systems. They transform themselves by combining stability and flexibility along with internal and external perspectives, and, thereby they become Janusian in their orientation. Of course, this kind of transformation is not the norm. Differentiated elements tend to remain separate. When they do come together, conflict and tension usually result because of an unconscious bias in almost everyone towards keeping dissimilar elements separate. Indeed, most people disconnect opposing elements by redefining them as discrete and unable to be integrated. They also tend to hold one set of values to be positive and uplifting while the opposite is defined as negative and diminishing. Leaders, therefore, must make a conscious effort to integrate contradictory factors and to manage the inevitable tension and resistance that accompanies such integration. One function of the Competing Values Framework is to help leaders find ways to capitalize on the strengths of opposite quadrants and to think in ways that give rise to transformational thinking. In this chapter, we extend our discussion of both/and thinking and go one step deeper in analysing the implications of the framework for guiding transformational leader behavior. More specifically, the Competing Values Framework assists leaders in discovering a new pattern of thinking, a new language, and a new set of alternatives...

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