Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Dr. Carol Sheffer
Dr. Uldis Smidchens
Dr. Ray Alie
Dr. Neva Barte
The purpose of this study was to determine whether leaders' personality characteristics were related to the hierarchical level and the focus of their roles in organizations. Leaders from two industrial plants of two Fortune 500 corporations were selected for the investigation. They comprised a total population of persons responsible for making decisions concerning the use of data, people, or things within the organizations.
Data were collected employing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Functional Job Analysis Self-Report (FJASR). The MBTI instrument identified personality characteristics in terms of two paired and opposite preferences for (1) sensing or intuition, and (2) feeling or thinking. The FJASR inventory identified job roles in terms of (1) hierarchical level (middle-level or upper-level), and (2) role focus (data-focus or people-focus). The MBTI personality characteristics were crosstabulated with those of job role. Chi-square tests at an alpha level of .05 were then applied to determine whether the leaders' personality characteristics were related to their job roles.
Findings of this study identified relationships which suggest that leaders' personality characteristics are related to the hierarchical levels and the foci of their roles in the organizations. Sensing, described here as the preference to rely on one or more of the five senses for information-gathering, appeared to be the predominant personality preference of leaders in middle-level and/or data-focused roles. Intuition, described in this study as the preference to rely on ideas, possibilities, and associations for information-gathering, appeared to be the predominant preference of upper-level leaders. There appeared no distinct personality preference among leaders in people-focused roles.
Supportive literature warrants the conclusion that until the present study, there has been a lack of workable approaches to leadership studies of this type. Previous studies have not been able to identify and group leaders in similar roles, regardless of job title or other specifically applied role designation in organizations. Additional studies following the approach of this study are needed to determine conclusively whether leaders' personality characteristics are generally associated with the hierarchical level and focus of their roles in organizations.
Church, Loretta, "Relationships in Organizations Between Leaders' Personality Characteristics and Their Hierarchical Levels and Role Foci" (1982). Dissertations. 2515.