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Competing values leadership: quadrant roles and personality traits

Alan Belasen (SUNY‐Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA)
Nancy Frank (SUNY‐Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to validate the number and order of leadership roles and identify the personality traits which trigger the choice of leadership roles.


A survey addressing classification and measurement questions in each of the competing values framework (CVF) quadrants was administered to a sample of managerial leaders across organizations. Multidimensional scaling representing the underlying CVF dimensions in a spatial arrangement was conducted with input derived from LISREL, which was also used to test the degree‐of‐fit between the CVF roles and quadrants as well as to examine the relationships between personality traits and leadership roles.


The results produced a remarkable synthesis of two separate fields of study within a single competing quadrants grid confirming the causal paths from traits to the compressed CVF latent variables.

Research limitations/implications

This study raises important questions about the causal effects of personality traits and situational contingencies on the choice of leadership roles.

Practical implications

The new awareness of precursors to CVF roles calls for significantly shifting the focus of leadership training and education efforts. Leadership development strategies designed to improve current managerial strengths must also target specific weaknesses and their psychological underpinnings.


The paper demonstrates the efficacy of the CVF and at the same time draws more robust conclusions about how traits affect the choice of leadership roles, how they influence the extent of managerial effectiveness and to what extent managerial choice of roles is conscious or just a stimulus response.



Belasen, A. and Frank, N. (2008), "Competing values leadership: quadrant roles and personality traits", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 127-143.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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