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Quinn and Cameron: Competing Values Model of Organizational Culture

Robert Quinn and Kim Cameron created a model of four organizational cultures. The Quinn and Cameron model is known as a “competing values framework” because it starts from two pairs of competing values.

Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

The Nature of Organizations
This video is part of course module number 6.1.4
Program 6: Managing within Organizations
Course 1: The Nature of Organizations
Section 4: Organizational Culture

Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Introduction to Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/F_jEJBjE_J4
🎬 Cultural Web: Johnson & Scholes on Where Culture Originates https://youtu.be/i9hVuurBvh4
🎬 Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/N37Foo0DOgE
🎬 National Culture within an Organization: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions https://youtu.be/eygJtngcqMs
🎬 How we Work: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cross-Organization Cultural Dimensions https://youtu.be/U8CZE1LXpv4

The Quinn & Cameron model is known as a “competing values framework” because it starts from two pairs of competing values:
1. stability vs flexibility
More controlling organizations vs more agile ones
2. inwards or outwards looking
Focus on internal concerns vs external matters

The four distinct quadrants or cultural types are:

Clan Culture
This culture is collaborative and nurturing. Members see themselves are part of one big family. Leadership takes a light touch with a lot of coaching and mentoring. The organization is values-driven with strong traditions. The main values center on teamwork, communication, and consensus.
‘Let’s do it together’

Adhocracy Culture
Outward -Flexible
This culture is energetic, creative, and entrepreneurial. Employees feel able to take risks, and leaders are seen as innovators or entrepreneurs. The organization encourages experimentation, with an emphasis on individual ingenuity and freedom. The core values are based on innovation, change, and agility.
‘Let’s do it first’

Hierarchy Culture
This culture has a structure and a high degree of control. The work environment is formal, with strict procedures. Leadership is based on coordination and monitoring, and emphasizes efficiency and predictability. The values include consistency and uniformity, so change is slow to happen. Think of stereotypical large, bureaucratic organizations – especially government departments.
‘Let’s do it right’

Market Culture
This culture focused competition and achieving results. Leaders are goal-oriented, tough, and demanding. The organization is united by a common goal to beat its rivals. So, the main value drivers are market share and profitability.
‘Let’s just do it’

Quinn and Cameron argue that flexible organizations are more successful than rigid ones because the best organizations are able to manage the competition between cultures while activating each of the four value sets when needed.

An organization will usually have one dominant culture. But individual departments may exhibit other traits. For example, an accounting department having a mainly Hierarchy culture, while a development team leans towards a more creative Adhocracy culture.

For your current organization – or one you know very well – assess where it is on the two scales of:
1. Internal-External focus (2 MC CPD Points)
2. Stable-Flexible Cccc (2 MC CPD Points)

3. Which of Quinn and Cameron’s four organizational cultures best represents your organization? (2 MC CPD Points)
4. Do you see other types of culture within your organization? (2 MC CPD Points)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

– Understanding Organizations https://geni.us/oB774Do
– Images of Organization https://geni.us/hrOemEs
– Inside Organizations: 21 Ideas for Managers https://geni.us/YwwL
– Gods of Management: The Four Cultures of Leadership https://geni.us/bpPeC5

Managers Need a Basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it at: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 2 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 10 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#OrganizationalCulture #ManagementCourses #CompetingValues


A Thorough Introduction to Organizational Culture [Compilation]
Introduction to Organizations: A Compilation of our Introductory Videos
What is Globalization?
Kim Cameron: Positive Organizational Scholarship
Charles Handy: Philosopher of Organizations
Edgar Schein: The Master of Organizational Culture
Harold Geneen: Data-driven Charismatic Organization
Chester Barnard: Organizations as Networks of People
Max Weber: The Father of Organizational Theory
How we Work: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cross-Organization Cultural Dimensions
National Culture within an Organization: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions
Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture
Cultural Web: Johnson & Scholes on Where Culture Originates
Introduction to Organizational Culture
Empowerment: The Organization Giving up its Power
French and Raven: Social Power Bases in Organizations
Power in Organizations: The Power of Governance
Robin Fincham: Three Levels of Organizational Power
Amitai Etzioni: How Organizations Secure Compliance
Organizational Power: What is Power?
Virtual Organizations
Brian Robertson’s Holacracy Organizational Model
The Agile Organization
Adhocracy Organizational Model
Peter Senge’s Learning Organization
The Matrix Organization Model
Charles Handy’s Triple-I Company
Charles Handy’s Federal Organization Model
Charles Handy’s Shamrock Organization
Charles Handy’s Gods of Management
Henry Mintzberg’s 4 plus 2 Organizational Types
Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures
Why do we need Organizations? Structure vs Agility
The Features of Organizations: What an Organization Needs
Organizations as Processes: Understanding an Organization as a Set of Processes
Organizations as Structures: Understanding an Organization as a Structure
Morgan’s 8 Organizational Metaphors: An Organization is Like a…
What is an Organization? – the Nature of Organizations

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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