Type theory is an expansive model of the individual psyche. It deepens self-awareness and also helps understand our preferred ways of dealing with life’s challenges. From leadership to communication, and from learning to influencing, the MBTI® instrument lends itself to understanding many manifestations of individual differences. In this research digest, we explore the MBTI® instrument and its association with both entrepreneurial orientation as well as entrepreneurial success.
OPP Ltd., the erstwhile European Distributor of the MBTI, conducted an in-depth study on entrepreneurial orientation, entrepreneurial success and MBTI® types. 584 individuals participated in the study, reported their best-fit, validated MBTI® type and completed an entrepreneurial orientation survey that measures Creativity, Risk-taking, Impulsivity, Competitiveness and Autonomy, all seen as determinants of entrepreneurial intent. Organisational characteristics were measured using another survey and correlated with individual personality preferences and entrepreneurial orientation.
The study found that:
- Individuals with N and P preference were more likely to become entrepreneurs than others. ENTP and ENFP had the highest self-selection ratios (SSR)*, while, ISTJ and ISFP had the lowest self-selection ratios.
- Though some types were more likely to be entrepreneurs, there was no statistically significant relationship between Type and organisational success of entrepreneurs of any type.
- Each type attributed their success to their own unique strengths and attributed the challenges faced by them to their weaknesses.
- There was no difference in entrepreneurial orientation between genders.
- Individuals with E, N, T and P preferences showed higher levels of entrepreneurial orientation.
- At the level of Type Dynamics, Extraverted Intuition (Ne) was found to have the highest entrepreneurial orientation and Introverted Sensing (Si) the lowest.
- Employees with an N preference were found to be attracted to entrepreneurial organisations more than others.
The study reinforces the basic tenets of type theory. While individual preferences play out in terms of how people self-select themselves into situations or environments in line with their preferences, all types have the potential to perform well in any environment/role.
This study highlights important insights and lessons for helping entrepreneurs, their mentors and coaches understand the entrepreneurial personality better.
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* Self Selection Ratio: Day 2, Module 2 (Validity Section) on the MBTI® certification programme