The Character of Organizations: Using Personality Type in Organization Development by William BridgesThe Character of Organizations: Using Personality Type in Organization Development by William Bridges

The Character of Organizations: Using Personality Type in Organization Development

byWilliam Bridges

Paperback | June 27, 2000

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 120 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


An organization's character shapes how decisions get made and new ideas are received. In this book, William Bridges identifies 16 organizational character types using the framework of MBTI personality types and shows how these influence an organization's growth and development.
William Bridges, PhD, was an internationally known speaker, consultant, and the author of ten books. He was known for his expertise in the "human side" of organizational change and made his career guiding individuals and organizations through transition. The professional seminars that he launched in 1988 now have certified thousands of...
Title:The Character of Organizations: Using Personality Type in Organization DevelopmentFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:228 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.25 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 0.25 inPublished:June 27, 2000Publisher:QuercusLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0891061495

ISBN - 13:9780891061496


Read from the Book

ORGANIZATIONAL CHARACTER AND WHERE IT COMES FROM The Concept of Character Everyone knows that organizations differ in their size, structure, and purpose, but they also differ in character. A play-it-safe, old-line manufacturing company has a very different character from a new start-up software company. They differ in the same way that two individuals do. And the character of both the manufacturing company and the software company differs from that of a state university, a community hospital, or an architectural firm. An organization's character is like the grain in a piece of wood. There is no such thing as good or bad grain, but some kinds of grain can take great pressure, other kinds can withstand bending or shearing forces, and still others are lovely and take a fine polish. Some are too soft or hard, too light or heavy for a particular purpose, but each has some purpose for which it is well fitted. There are other metaphors: Character is the typical climate of the organizational country; it is the personality of the individual organization; it is the DNA of the organizational life form. It is the organization's character that makes it feel and act like itself. Organizational character varies greatly and subtly. In one sense, there are as many characters as there are organizations. But those infinitely varied differences can be profitably grouped into sixteen basic categories.1 This system parallels the sixteen basic personality types developed from the work of the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung by Americans Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. This mother-daughter team created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(r) (MBTI(r)) instrument to identify an individual's personality type. As with personality type, organizational character can be established with a fair degree of objectivity. The Organizational Character Index , or OCI, which appears in Appendix A, does for organizations what Briggs and Myers did for individuals, although as a new instrument it has not yet been statistically validated. The OCI is an experimental tool meant to be used by people who work with and in organizations-people who are looking for useful tools and willing to test and improve them as they use them. The OCI is not an adaptation of the MBTI instrument, but it is based on the same four pairs of opposing tendencies that Myers and Briggs adapted from Carl Jung's work. As adapted from the individual realm to the organizational, those dichotomies are the following: ? Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)-the organization's orientation, the location of its reality, and the source of its energy. Is the organization primarily outwardly oriented toward markets, competition, and regulations (Extraverted), or is it inwardly oriented toward its own technology, its leaders' dreams, or its own culture (Introverted)?2 ? Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)-how it gathers information, what it pays attention to, how it perceives. Is the organization primarily focused on the present, the details, and the actuality of situations (Sensing) or on the future, the big picture, and the possibilities inherent in situations (Intuition)? ? Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)-its way of processing information, its manner of judging situations, its way of making decisions. Does the organization do these things by an impersonal process so that decision making happens on the basis of such principles as con- sistency, competence, and efficiency (Thinking), or through a personal process that depends on values such as individuality, the common good, or creativity (Feeling)? ? Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)-does the organization tend to deal with its external world through one of the Judging functions (Thinking or Feeling) or through one of the Perceiving func- tions (Sensing or Intuition)? Organizations in which Judging predominates prefer to reach firm decisions, define things clearly, and get closure on issues. Organizations in which Perceiving predominates are always seeking more input, preferring to leave things loose, or opting to keep their choices open.

Table of Contents

Contents Foreword vii Preface xi About the Author xvii Chapter One Organizational Character and Where It Comes From 1 Chapter Two Identifying Organizational Character 13 Chapter Three The Sixteen Types of Organizational Character 33 Chapter Four Character, Growth, and Change 69 Chapter Five Character and Organization Development 89 Chapter Six Organizational Character and Individual Type 109 Chapter Seven Character and Destiny 125 Appendix A The Organizational Character Index 129 Appendix B Bibliographical Notes 137 Appendix C Character and Culture 139 Notes 141 Index 147

Editorial Reviews

The first book devoted to an organizational interpretation of Jungâ??s personality theory. Provides an exciting new lens for the organizational looking glass.-Open Forum: Publication of the Western New England OD Network