Distinctive Personality Traits of Information Technology Professionals

John W. Lounsbury, Eric Sundstrom, Jacob J. Levy, Lucy W. Gibson


Drawing on Holland’s (1985) vocational theory, Schneider’s (1987) ASA model, and the Big Five / narrow traits model of personality, the present study examined key Big Five and narrow traits that distinguish 12,695 IT professionals from 73,140 individuals in other occupations. IT professionals had significantly higher levels of agreeableness and tough-mindedness, and lower conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion, assertiveness, customer service orientation, optimism, and work drive. These findings reinforce the functional value and person-occupation fit of this distinctive trait profile for the work of IT professionals in an era of technological and organizational change. Implications are described for future research as well as the recruitment, selection, management and promotion of IT professionals, as well as their training, development, coaching, and mentoring.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/cis.v7n3p38

Computer and Information Science   ISSN 1913-8989 (Print)   ISSN 1913-8997 (Online)
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