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on April 9, 2000
"Our purpose in this book", Cameron and Quinn write, "is not to offer one more panacea for coping with our turbulent times or to introduce another management fad. We agree with Tom Peters that, "If you're not confused, you're not paying attention." Confusion abounds as to prescriptions and proposed panaceas. Instead, our intention in this book is both more modest and, we believe, potentially more helpful. The book provides a framework, a sensemaking tool, a set of systematic steps, and a methodology for helping managers and their organizations adopt the demands of the environment. It focuses less on the right answers that it does on the methods and mechanisms available to help managers change the most fundamental elements of their organizations. It provides a way for managers, at almost any level in an organization, to guide the change process at the most basic level-the cultural level. It provides a systematic strategy for internal or external change agents to facilitate foundational change that can then support and supplement other kinds of change initiatives."
In this context, Cameron and Quinn basically :
* discuss the importance of understanding organizational culture and its place in facilitating or inhibiting organizational improvement efforts.
* provide the instrument (The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument-OCAI) for diagnosing organizational culture and instructions for how to complete and score it. (OCAI produces an overall organizational culture profile.)
* provide a more thorough explanation of the theoretical framework (The Competing Values Framework) upon which the OCAI is based. (The Competing Values Framework explains the underlying value orientations that characterize organizations.)
* illustrate how organizations designed a strategy to change their current culture to better match their preferred culture.
* focus on the personal change needed to support and facilitate culture change.
* provide an instrument (Management Skills Assessment Instrument-MSAI) that helps managers identify the key competencies they will need to develop or improve in order to foster organizational culture change.
* provide suggestions for initiating culture change in each of four types of cultures (market culture, adhocracy culture, clan culture, hierarchy culture).
* provide lists of suggestions for improving management skills and competencies associated with the MSAI.
I highly recommend this invaluable study to all executives.
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I took Prof. Cameron's course on "Navigating Change" at the U of M Business School and this book was used as ONE of the tools that could be used in understanding and managing change in an organization's culture. There are many ways to look at organizational culture. This one gives you a means to measure various aspects and get a view of where you are and where you think you need to be. It can elicit helpful discussion and real insights into your organization.
The book gives helpful background and context for the model (what each quadrant means and doesn't mean), the instrument itself, instructions for administering it, and instructions on how to interpret it. It also provides a condensed formula for organizational change and helpful hints on how to begin change in each of the quadrants.
As we used it in class and our term project it helped us understand the organization our team studied and why it was different than its competitors. I think Competing Values Framework is a powerful model that is backed by up with a lot of research and can be very useful when used seriously. This is a very helpful book.
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on February 20, 2003
The authors provide a great model for understanding and diagnosing organizations. Their cultural quandrant methodology also provides a common language for people within an organization to talk about what they have and what they want. I recommend this for everyone who wants to understand their own organization. Their instrument (OCAI) is both easy to understand and easy to use.
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on June 22, 2003
This is the most helpful book available on organizational culture. Their OCAI instrument (for diagnosing organizational culture) alone is worth more than the price of the book. I use Cameron & Quinn's material with every one of my clients.
Dr. Michael Beitler
Author of "Strategic Organizational Change"
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on March 3, 2004
The model presented is an interesting and for the most part effective one. For an alternative model see O'Reilly, Chatman and Caldwell's OCP Method and in particular the commercially available web tools from ThinkShed ([...]) that leverage the method.
Whichever method you use, culture change is ultimately about the application of a consistent personal preference is the OCP because of the availability of robust web based tools that enable one to penetrate the organization to a much deeper level than is otherwise possible with a paper based model or an interview based model. This can be important if you are wanting to get at deeply rooted and/or problematic sub-cultures.
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on May 2, 2016
This is a well organized book on how to change the culture in your organization. Cameron and Quinn break down the steps and provide wonderful activities in addition to just telling you what you need to do. You can actually follow along with what they are suggesting and it makes it more interactive. My class even evaluated our own program's culture and compared it to the model. Great for any I/O Psychology student in particular or any manager looking to change the culture in his or her environment. Changing the culture is something that needs to be handled delicately and in an orderly manner. Cameron and Quinn will get you there if you invest in their methods!
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on August 10, 2002
Recently tried this with our organization and found it interesting. It's one way to look at culture - I think it's important to have a bunch of tools in your tool kit but at least this offers another approach to a very very complex issue
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on December 11, 2010
True Transformational change (of the ilk we must face to re-position for the next 10 years) requires attention to organizational culture - it is ignored at the peril of Project ROI and Strategy sustainability. We must not be intimidated by the risk rather we must take courage from the imperative.

Cameron and Quinn are renowned for their leadership in the area of Organizational Culture and this book directly addresses culture in the context of Strategic Change. It offers very tactical and pragmatic approach, framework and tools.

Gail A. Severini, CMC
CEO, Symphini Change Management Inc
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on March 12, 2014
The book is useful in conducting problems or ideology in organizations. It is a tool that then needs to be explained and "sold" before the tool can be appreciated.
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on September 27, 2015
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