Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Anne Bunda

Second Advisor

Dr. Walter Kuleck Jr.

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Munsterman

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Michael Suckley


This research expanded the study of psychological typology to the local firm Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Differences in type have been previously reported, based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), resulting from both level of authority and area of specialization in Big Eight firm CPAs. This study utilized the MBTI and a Personal Data Questionnaire to identify types and accumulate data related to the independent variables of level and preferred area of specialization. The MBTI operationalizes Jung's type theory and reports 16 possible Jungian types which were the dependent variables in this study.

The population of interest included individuals employed in local CPA firms in Michigan with 10 to 49 members of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. Each of the 57 firms meeting these criteria were sent a letter inviting their participation in the study. A random sample of 25 firms was drawn from 31 firms willing to participate. The unit of analysis was the individual CPA. The final sample included 512 individuals in 24 firms.

Research methodology included the use of a firm coordinator in distribution and follow-up procedures. In addition, firm meetings were conducted by the researcher to return the individual results and discuss the applicability of type theory to the individual CPA. These procedures positively influenced the response rate (97.3%). Research questions were developed and the results of the data analyses lead to the following conclusions: (1) Certain types, in particular ISTJ (introverted, sensing, thinking, and judging) and ESTJ (extraverted, sensing, thinking, and judging), are preferred by a high proportion of local firm CPAs. (2) Local firm CPAs are typologically different from Big Eight firm CPAs, as previously reported. Statistically significant differences were found in 4 of the 16 types. (3) One difference, INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging), was found in comparing partners and nonpartners. The difference, however, may have resulted from gender contamination and not level. (4) At the local firm level, CPAs differ in type based on their area of preferred specialization (accounting/auditing, tax, or management advisory services).

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access