Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Essay by ataf78University, Master's July 2009

download word file, 11 pages 5.0

IntroductionPersonality study traditionally hasn’t been admired much in the business world. Let’s face it: most managers and executives have viewed psychology as impractical, even irrelevant, in the quest for profitability; compared with fields like engineering or chemistry, even its fundamental theories have seemed dubious. Generally, few in organizational command have sought more than a smattering of psychological concepts, and often these are only weak simplifications. It’s quite a historical puzzle, therefore, how the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has come to gain so much popularity in today’s workplace. More than 2.5 million men and women annually are administered the Myers-Briggs (as it’s popularly known) for purposes ranging from career planning to management and leadership training, and major corporations including Aetna Life and Casualty have been successfully using it for years, too, in the increasingly vital task of team building. (Jones & Sherman, 1979) Today, the MBTI is most widely used in its 1998 Form M version, encompassing 93 items.

Because of its long history and practicality as a research instrument, the MBTI has generated over 400 published studies, including more than 1300 dissertations. (Carlson, 1989) The Journal of Psychological Type has now published 49 volumes devoted to typological investigations.

The MBTI is used more than any other instrument in the United States to identify normal personality differences that may result in poor communication and conflict (Myers, 1993). The MBTI is based on Carl Jung's thesis that apparently random differences among people are actually consistent differences based on preferences developed early in life. Furthermore, there are patterns of difference that can be measured (Jung, 1923). According to the MBTI, opposing preferences exist on four dimensions: interaction with the external world, decision making, information gathering, and structuring lives (Kroeger & Thuesen, 1988; Lawrence, 1997). From these dimensions come the indicator's four dichotomous scales:...