Personality attributes in relation to technology commercialization: An exploratory study of technical doctoral degree holders at two technology -intensive industrial companies

by Perel, Mel, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 158 pages; 3274076


The pressure within most organizations to improve financial returns from investments in technology requires technologists willing and able to assist in transferring laboratory-generated technology to the commercial marketplace. This study investigated whether technologists who differed in commercial orientation also differed in personality attributes. The study required the design, validation, and testing of an instrument for measuring commercial orientation among technologists, for no such survey instrument existed. The research sample comprised 69 technical doctoral degree holders in two technology-intensive companies who completed both the researcher-designed attitude survey instrument and an MBTI Form M preference inventory. Parametric statistical analyses showed limited evidence of correlations between each of the paired MBTI preferences and attitudes to technology commercialization, enabling qualified rejection of the null hypotheses that commercially oriented technologists in private sector organizations did not differ from noncommercially oriented technologists in MBTI preferences. Only the correlations for extraversion and introversion were significant at a 95% confidence level, the correlation of higher introversion scores with lower interest in technology commercialization being consistent with prior research findings linking technologists with introversion preferences. The study findings shed new light on a major technology commercialization challenge and offered a custom instrument for measuring attitudes toward technology commercialization. Use of more rigorous MBTI scoring procedures, deployment of alternative personality tests such as those based on the Five Factor model of personality structure, and incorporating larger, more diverse research samples, all offer fertile ground for further exploring the issues raised in this study. In particular, replicating this research in federal and university research environments may produce more significant results than might be expected from solely industrial organizations.

AdviserMartin G. J. Lees
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology; Personality psychology
Publication Number3274076

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