Winners and losers: the role of personality types in high-tech business success
Blumenthal, Robert Adler
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This study examined the role personality plays in the founding and successful operation of High-Tech businesses in the State of Washington, using field data gathered for this purpose. It asked three questions: Does personality type affect the likelihood that a person will found a business? Does personality type affect the kinds of businesses founded? Does the personality type of founders affect their success or failure in running High-Tech firms?The results showed that personality type does affect the likelihood that a person will found a business, and that the types which found most businesses are Myers-Briggs types sensing-thinking-judging (STJ), intuitive-thinking-judging (NTJ), and intuitive-thinking-perceptive (NTP). The results also showed that NTJs and NTPs founded most of the High-Tech businesses, whereas the NTJs and STJs founded most of the non-High-Tech businesses included in the sample. Finally, and unexpectedly, the results showed that the NTJs were both the most successful and the most unsuccessful types in running High-Tech firms.The study concluded that Jungian personality theory as operationalized by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator provided a holistic conceptual and reliable measurement tool for the purpose of evaluating the effect of personality on the founding and successful operation of businesses. It also concluded that a different balance of personality types is needed to effectively run firms in different life-cycle stages. Finally, the study concluded that there is a lack of feeling types among Founder/CEOs of High-Tech firms, which is paradoxical considering the emphasis on participative management practices in the Hi-Tech industry.