"Whatever circumstances of your life, the understanding of the
type can make your perception clearer, your judgement sounder, and your
life closer to your heart's desire".
--Isabel Briggs Myers
Personality tests have been widely used by behavioural scientist as
an indicator of measurment of performance/effectiveness. This helps a
manager to understand the strength and weakness of an employee and to
take calculative steps to match with his job. Individual differences and
personality factors have emerged as an important research topic in
applied organisational behaviour (Berr et. al, 2000). The basic idea of
understanding personality types are to help employees and managers and
appreciate their styles and help them to match with their jobs
Among different personality type indicators, Myers-Briggs Type
Indicator (MBTI) is a widely accepted personality test designed to
identify personal preferences. The nature of type of personality was
originally developed by C. G. Jung which was later operationalised by
Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Briggs in the well-known Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator in 1975. According to Filbeck et. al (1996), Carl
Jung's theoretical framework on MBTI observed certain psychological
preferences in judgment and interaction with the world. It has been used
as a powerful instrument to learn individual differences for the last
five decades. The scope of such indicators is even extended to english
literature and referred as a predictive behavioural technique to
understand the personality types of Shakespearean characters (Anderson
et. al, 1985).
MBTI is a widely used instrument for personality analysis
(Webb,1990). It has been widely applied in the workplace for
decision-making, problem solving, managing conflict, understanding
work-related stress, recruitment etc (Feig, 2005; Simms, 2004) and was
applied mainly among the managers for their profiling (Vicky Tan, 1999
et. al). It is considered as a significant tool in career planning and
development (Yen et. al, 2002 et. al; Vacha-Haase et. al, 2000). The
type indicator provides self-confirming insights and helps make
patterning of human behavior understandable and acceptable (Dash, 1990
and Berry et. al, 1991).
It is reported that more than three million people take MBTI each
year and basically it is administered in companies (Gardner et. al,
1996). Organisations started to look at MBTI type of personality
indicators as the most valuable resources (Maxon, 1985), which is a
useful instrument for organisational operations (Lindon, 1995),
managerial attributes, behaviors and effectiveness (Gardner et. al,
1996). Many organisations use MBTI as a measurement to evaluate the
personality indicators of its employees. It is considered as an
indicator to classify management personality types in the organisation
(Yen et. al, 2002). The indicator helps to discuss the influence of
different personality types in the organisation and its development and
helps organisation to utilise the talent of its employees within the
organisation (Agor, 1989).
MBTI Personality Types
Personality type is a combination of personality traits which is
generally stable internally and helps to explain the behaviour of people
(Parkinson et. al, 2007). The indicator will help to identify one's
inborn traits to explain in a given context (eg. organisation). MBTI
types are known as dichotomies such as extraversion / introversion,
sensing / intuition, thinking / feeling and judging / perceiving. These
are by four-letter abbrevations such as ESTJ or INFP which indicate that
type's preference in each dichotomy and 16 types of personality are
developed when these preference scales are combined in all possible
combinations. These are ISTJ, ISFJ, INTJ, ISTP, ESTP, ESFP, ENFP, ENTP,
ENFJ, ENTJ, INFJ, ISFP, INFP, INTP, ESTJ and ESFJ.
The 16 possible code types are considered to have unique behavioral
patterns (Rodney K, 1989) and can be used as a powerful instrument to
study distinct learning styles (Booth et. al, 1993).
MBTI types of indicators were widely applied among the executives
and managers of different organisation. It helps the managers for the
planning process and strategic planning decisions (Jennings et. al,
2006). The test has been widely used in many management programmes
(Fortune, 1987). It is a widely used personality instrument in
management training (Raghuram, 1993). Credit world (1992) reported that
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test which helps executives to
manage their subordinates more effectively.
In a study conducted among executives, Hough et. al (2005) finds
that iNtuiting/ thinking managers use their intuition to take effective
decisions and sensing/feeling types helps in carrying out more socially
acceptable decisions. Further the study reveals, extroverted managers
are more effective than Introverted.
According to Carr (2006), managers tend to fall into four main MBTI
types--ESTJ, ENTP, ISTJ and ENTJ. Extraversion Vs Introversion mainly
focus on the source of someone's mental energy; Sensing vs.
"iNtuiting," identifies how one absorbs information; Thinking
versus feeling measures how one makes decisions; and Judging versus
Perceiving represents the quick decision making capacity (Leonard et.
al, 1997). A cross sectional study among Europe and Chinese managers
based on the MBIT reveal that extroversion and introversion is found
more among Chinese group and thinking/ feeling dimension is noticed
among European group (Furnham et. al,1993).
The very concept of MBTI is also a subject of criticism, especially
as a method for using counselling and as a devise to improve client
decision-making. Empirical researches on these aspects need to be
carried out (Coan 1978; Comerey, 1987; Garden, 1985).
As discussed in the previous paragraphs, Myers Briggs model of
personality is based on four preferences, which represents the first
letter of each type of personality. These combinations are E vs. I, S
vs. N, T vs. F and J vs. P (table 1).
The operational meaning of each indicator is given in the box I.
The present study is applied to the middle level executives of IT
industries. Initially, the study tries to analyse 16 combinations of
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality dimensions and identify
dominant personality indicators. The study further analyses the
correlation of these personality indicators and the implications are
discussed in the context of 'IT'.
The study has been conducted among two hundred middle level
executives in the IT industries. The executives were selected from
across different IT companies in India. The source of list of employees
was prepared in consultation with the responsible person in each
company. The selection of the sample was based on simple random sampling
techniques. Information has been collected through a well-designed
questionnaire. Frequent contacts with the respondents helped to maintain
accuracy of the data. A pilot study, which was initiated just prior to
the data collection, helped to make necessary modification with the
questionnaire. Internal consistency of data of the present study is
measured with Cronbach's coefficient alpha, which is .6612. In this
context the researcher acknowledge that the reliability and validity of
many standard questionnaire of such studies are proved in between
between 0.59 to 0.94 (Millon 1997; Wheeler 2001; Girelli et. al 1993).
The average age of the executives is thirty six years and the
average experience is six years. A descriptive analysis of the combined
score of the type of personality indicators is given in percentage
(table II). The average score of ESTJ and ESFJ constitute more than 90
percent and the score is more than 80 percent in the case of ISTJ
(86.63), ISFJ (83.13), INTJ (80.25), ISTP (80.25), ESTP (87.75), ESFP
(87.25), ENFP (83.38), ENTP (83.38), ENFJ (87.25) and ENTJ (87.75).
However the score is below 80 percent in the case of INFJ (79.75), ISFP
(79.75), INFP (76.38) and INTP (76.88).
The combinations of personality types are broadly categorized into
three such as:--High (90 percent and above), Medium (80 percent--90
percent) and Low (below 80 percent) (table III).
Carl Pearson correlation coefficient is used to test significant
relation between one to one personality indicators (table IV).
Positively correlated factors are perceiving with feeling (.058),
introvert (.178), sensing (.094) and thinking (.091); Judging with
extrovert (.175), feeling (.053) and sensing (.115); extrovert with
feeling (.123); judging (.175) and thinking (.012); Feeling with
extrovert (.123), introvert (.034), judging (.053) and perceiving
(.058); introvert with feeling (.034), perceiving (.178) and thinking
(.099); iNtuitive with extrovert (.141), introvert (.065), judging
(.090), perceiving (.197) and sensing (.169); sensing with
judging(.115), perceiving (.094) and thinking (.076) and finally,
thinking is positively co-related with extrovert (.012), perceiving
introvert (.099) perceiving (.091) and sensing (.076). The statistical
significance of correlation is indicated with star marks for the
significant level at .005 and .001.
Discussions are centered on the pattern of personality types
indicators of the middle level executives. The personality dynamic score
describes a high score regarding the combination variables such as ESTJ
and ESFJ, which score more than 90 percent (figure 1). This means that
the dominant personality types among the executives are the combination
of the personality types such as (i) extraversion, sensing, thinking and
judging; (2) extraversion, sensing, feeling and judging. In other words,
it is the internal states in which how executives in the IT sector
behave (Parkinson et. al, 2007). It is to be noted that extraversion,
sensing and judging is common in both dominant personalities, which
signifies its relevance.
[FIGURE I OMITTED]
The character of sensing and feeling reflects the capacity of
taking socially acceptable decisions (Hough et. al, 2005). Extraversion
is a character of positive communicator behavior (Susan et. al, 2003),
which is a pre-requisite for executives. Prominent personality types
indicators reveal that these executives are dynamic and have good
thinking and judging power, which helps in decision making (Cheng et.
The correlation metrics indicates how each personality type
indicator significantly associated with each other. The figure II
described that iNtuitive personality type is significantly related to
sensing, perceiving and extrovert. Extravert is associated with judging
and perceiving is associated with introvert.
[FIGURE II OMITTED]
Following inferences can be drawn from the above discussion.
Inference I:--iNtuitive is associated with Sensing, Perceiving and
The iNtutive is considered as a non-linear thinking (Vance et. al,
2007). The inference--I explains that the thinking and thoughts of
executives are constantly modified based on their systematic
understanding of the outside world. Probably, this is the reason why
they are extrovert. This can be interpreted that the executives respond
to the outside world after thoroughly analysing the situation with their
senses. It is also interesting to note that the relationship between
iNtuitive and sensing is supportive rather than opposites.
Inference 2: Extrovert is related to judging.
This indicates those respondents who draw energy from the outer
world of people have much more logical character. They emphasize values
and merits on issues and prefer for forming judgments. When compared
with introverts, extroverts are good at decision making due to their
cognitive knowledge (Hough et. al, 2005). This helps in the process of
decision performance. Psychologically, extroverts are superior and get
more life satisfaction when compared with introverts (Harrington et. al,
Inference 3: Perceiving is related to Introvert
This reflects that the introverts try to postpone their
decision-making and continue to gather or process information.
Ultimately the cognitive influence of decision making do not make any
impact on their judgment.
Ranking of combination of different personality types based on the
score indicates 'introvert' (I) mostly appears in the low
score categories of combinations of personality and
'extrovert' in the higher score. In the radar chart (figure
III) the thick line indicates the variations of combination of
personality types. This confirms that among different combination of
personality indicators, extroverts dominate among the executives.
[FIGURE III OMITTED]
Extrovert and introvert are generally considered as opposite
characters and interestingly the type of indicators, which is related to
each also is reflected as opposite. Correlation test identifies that
extrovert is related to judging (.175) and introvert is related to
perceiving (.178). Judging shows the character of taking good decision
and perceiving reflects the character of postponement of decisions. The
opposite relation is represented figure IV.
[FIGURE IV OMITTED]
The extroverts like variety and action, tend to be faster and
dislike complicated procedures. They are often good at greeting people
and are impatient at long, slow jobs, act quickly and communicate
freely. On the other hand, introverts like quiet concentration, dislike
sweeping statements, work long hours on one projects and restrict
communication (Vicky et. al, 1999). Extroverts are mentally strong
(Leonard et. al, 1997). They are socially acceptable and efficient than
introverts (Allerton, 1997). The extroverts accept technical challenges
very fast and have a good capacity to interact with the people of
outside (Melymuka, 2004).
In short, the extroverts are found more decisive and more open to
the outside world. This often results in taking decisions in terms of
more reality than imaginative. This conclusion can lead to the
formulation of a hypothesis for further discussion.
H1: Executives with extrovert orientation towards outer world can
have good judging capacity in decision-making than introverts.
The ANOVA test reveals that the judging capacity in decision-making
is significantly related to extroverts and not significant to introverts
(table V). The P value is less than the significant value at .05
(.011< .05) in the case of extroverts and it is greater than in the
case of introverts (.221>.05). This means that extroverts are good
decision makers in their field. This is also confirmed in literature
that the extroverts take immediate decisions while introverts continue
to process their information (Barr et. al, 1989)
A model is framed to establish the link between judging, decision
and extroverts' orientation towards the outside world (figure V).
[FIGURE V OMITTED]
As the model proceeds towards the process of decision-making of
extroverts as a result of interactions from the outside world, an
important question that arises is with respect to the principal type of
decision-making (Jill, 2005). Jill proved that there are three types of
decisions outcomes, which are decision quality, decisiveness and
perceived effectiveness. However, this study has not evaluated these
aspects due to insufficient data.
Implications of this study in the IT sector are wide. The results
of the study indicate that the dominant personality indicators of
executives in the sector are basically extroverts, which is related to
their judging capacity. Earlier studies have not concentrated much on
this aspect of relationship. As competition is getting momentum in the
IT industry decision making based on accurate judgment is very
Comprehensive skill development of executives through
decision-making is crucial to sustain competition. It can be shaped and
reshaped by giving more opportunities to the executives through exposure
to the outside world. Facilitating such interactions are very crucial
while preparing competition strategies. However while implementing such
strategies the nature of the organisation also must be taken into
In short, the role of extroverts is related to two components such
as judging and taking decisions. Extroverts never postpone their
decisions as is in the case of introverts. Their understanding about the
outside world mostly influences judging capacity of them. The accuracy
of decision making of extroverts is based on their interaction towards
outside world. In this context it is suggested to examine the triangular
relationship of judging--decision--exposure to the outside world of
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Box I: Summary of Psychological type Operationalised by
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Index Dimensions Descriptions
Orientation to Extrovert and Whether the individual draws
the outer world Introvert energy from the outer world of
(E & I) people and things (E) or the
inner world of thoughts and
Perceptual Sensing and Whether the individual prefers
Process intuiting becoming aware of things
(S & I) through facts gained from the
senses (S) or through
and relationships (N)?
Judgment Thinking and Whether the individual prefers
Process Feeling to make logical, cause and
(T & F) effect connections (T) or
emphasizes the values and
merits of issues (F)?
Principal Judging and J points to the judgment
Process Perceiving process and indicates a
(J & P) preference for forming
judgments and coming to
closure. P points to the
perceptual process indicates a
preference to postpone
judgment and continue to
gather or process information.
Table I: Combinations of
Table II: Distribution of Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator (MBTI within the Sample Size)
ISTJ(86.63) ISFJ(83.13) INFJ(79.7S) INTJ(80.2S)
ISTP(80.2S) ISFP(79.7S) INFP(76.38) INTP(76.88)
ESTP(87.75) ESFP(87.25) ENFP(83.88) ENTP(83.38)
ESTJ(91.13) ESFJ(90.63) ENFJ(87.2S) ENTJ(87.7S)
Table III: Ranking of Type of Personality Indicators
Levels Personality Indicators
High ESTJ, ESFJ
Medium ENFJ, END, ESTP, ESFP, ENFP, ENTP, ISTP
(Mean = 84.752%)
Low ISFP, INFP, INTP,INFJ
(Mean = 78.19%)
Table IV: Correlation
Pearson Perceiving Judging Extrovert Feelling
Perceiving 1.000 -.041 -.047 .058
Judging -.041 1.000 .175 * .053
Extrovert -.047 .175 * 1.000 .123
Feeling .058 .053 .123 1.000
Introvert .178 * -.118 -.003 .034
iNtuitive .197 ** .090 .141 * -.009
Sensing .094 .115 -.012 -.019
Thingking .091 -.059 .012 -.040
Pearson Introvert iNtuitive Sensing Thinking
Perceiving .178 * -.197 ** .094 .091
Judging -.118 .090 .115 -.059
Extrovert -.003 .141 * -.012 .012
Feeling .034 -.009 -.019 -.040
Introvert 1.000 .065 -.009 .099
iNtuitive .065 1.000 .169 * -.024
Sensing -.009 .169 1.000 .076
Thingking .099 -.024 .076 1.000
* Correlation is significant at the .005 level (2-tailed)
** Correlation is significant at the .001 level (2-tailed)
Table V: Anova
Sum of Mean
Squares df uare
Groups 2.261 2 1.132
Groups 48.611 197 .247
Total 50.875 199
Groups .562 2 .281
Groups 38.313 197 .184
Total 36.875 199
Groups 4.588 .011
Groups 1.523 .221
Meaning of Combination of Personality Indicators
ISTJ Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and
dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and
responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work
toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take
pleasure in making everything orderly and organized--their
work, their home, their life. Value traditions and
ISFJ Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed
and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough,
painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and
remember specifics about people who are important to them,
concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly
and harmonious environment at work and at home.
INFJ Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and
material possessions. Want to understand what motivates
people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and
committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision
about how best to serve the common good. Organized and
decisive in implementing their vision.
INTJ Have original minds and great drive for implementing their
ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in
external events and develop long-range explanatory
perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry
it through. Skeptical and independent, have high
standards of competence and performance.
ISTP Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem
appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions.
Analyze what makes things work and readily get through
large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical
problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts
using logical principles, value efficiency.
ISFP Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the present
moment, what's going on around them. Like to have their
own space and to work within their own time frame. Loyal
and committed to their values and to people who
are important to them. Dislike disagreements and
conflicts, do not force their opinions or values
INFP Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are
important to them. Want an external life that is congruent
with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can
be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand
people and to help them fulfill their potential.
Adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is
INTP Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that
interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more
in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained,
flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in
depth to solve problems in their area of interest.
Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.
ESTP Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic approach
focused immediate results. Theories and conceptual
explanations bore them--they want to act energetically to
solve the problem. Focus on the here-and-now, spontaneous,
enjoy each moment that they can be active with others.
Enjoy material comforts and style. Learn best through
ESFP Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant lovers of
life, people, and material comforts. Enjoy working with
others to make things happen. Bring common sense and a
realistic approach to their work, and make work fun.
Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and
environments. Learn best by trying a new skill with other
ENFP Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of
possibilities. Make connections between events and
information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on
the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from
others, and readily give appreciation and support.
Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to
improvise and their verbal fluency.
ENTP Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken.
Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems. Adept
at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing
them strategically. Good at reading other people. Bored by
routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt
to turn to one new interest after another.
ESTJ Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly
move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people
to get things done, focus on getting results in the most
efficient way possible. Take care of routine details.
Have a clear set of logical standards, systematically
follow them and want others to also. Forceful in
implementing their plans.
ESFJ Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony
in their environment, work with determination to establish
it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately
and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters.
Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try
to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and
for what they contribute.
ENFJ Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly
attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others.
Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill
their potential. May act as catalysts for individual
and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and
criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and
provide inspiring leadership.
ENTJ Frank, decisive, assumes leadership readily. Quickly see
illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop
and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational
problems. Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting.
Usually well informed, well read, enjoy expanding
their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in
presenting their ideas.