CVF & Eysenck

The usefulness of the CVF as an integrative framework was made apparent to me through the seminar presented by Elliot Luber, MBA in Albany, New York 2016. As Luber went through his slides and pointed out this abstract view of the business environment I couldn’t help but feel that I’ve seen this before. He progressed from 10,000 years to 500 years, to Quinn’s model to explanations of the relationship between competing values and various business divisions from personnel to stakeholders, from communication to marketing, from culture to the self. I began to realize what was meant by Belasen (2008) when he pointed out a key point of the CVF model stating, “whereas corporate communication functions are often perceived as fundamentally opposing, contradictory, and exclusive of one another, in reality they are complementary and mutually inclusive.” (p. 11) The lecture continued driving home these points of how and why this model would be extremely useful in the future of my business thought. “It’s all about the balance. Balance culture and competition. Balance innovation and efficiency. Competing values must cross spectrums.” Luber (2016). And in that way we can gather that the usefulness of the Competing Values Framework is a profound ability to apply its concepts to almost every aspect of a business beginning with ourselves.

A fundamental challenge can be seen as when “the Competing Values Framework (CVF) highlights the contradictory nature inherent in organizational environments and the complexity of choices faced by managers when responding to competing tensions using different roles” Belasen (2012). Whereby it is pointed out again by Belasen that there are certain aspects managers need to guard against in specific situations:

“When managers focus on certain roles extensively without considering the tradeoffs among other roles the organization may become dysfunctional. Giving priority to certain organizational environments might impede the accomplishment of goals in other areas. Paying special attention to particular roles directs managerial activities and resources away from other value maximizing activities and roles. “ (pg 55-56)

To bring these challenges further on an individual level I’d like to call upon some train of thought given to us by a psychologist by the name of Hans Eysenck. Hans Eysenck (1967) was attempting to explain a set of core personality traits for every human. “Eysenck consistently found the traits of stability-instability and introversion-extraversion when he assessed the personalities of large numbers of indviduals and suggested that these dimensions could be related” Halonen (1997). He explained that there as a relationship between these polar opposites in the human psyche that tended to pull and push on one another much like the CVF model assumes in managements functions. Here is a chart taken directly out of the book. Halonen (1997), p. 43.


As you can see there is a keen resemblance to our CFV models. Now what Eysenck was saying, and what his research showed was that there were certain characteristics an individual had whereby he would assess the individual and that individual would fall into one of these 4 dimensions dominantly even though that individual would may have characteristics in a nearby quadrant. Halonen (1997). And if THAT is the case we can assume that as a business manager who is expected to overcome our natural behavioral tendencies that we have to intentionally focus and strive to change or make better our weaker quadrants even though cognitively we will always be “naturally” more introverted or extroverted or more stable or unstable.

According to Belasen “Managers who are able to master the paradoxical behaviors and skills associated with all the roles also have the capacity to use a set of adaptive response to deal with complexity in a variety of situations.” (2012). It is those managers, the managers that are able to overcome their own individual personality trait characteristics and recognize the communication and intentional attempts to cross boundaries to create organizational balance are those that will be the best achievers in the business environment.

Belasen, A. T. (2012). Developing women leaders in corporate America: Balancing competing demands, transcending traditional boundaries. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
Halonen, J.S. (1997). Human Adjustment Dubuque, IA: Brown & Benchmark
Luber, E. B. (2016). The competing values framework. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from
Yu, T., & Wu, N. (2009). A review of study on the competing values framework. International Journal of Business and Management, 4(7), 37.
Belasen, A.T. (2008) The Theory and Practice of Corporate Communication A Competing Values Perspective. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.