For today's businesses, information technology is integrated into the enterprise and not just bolted on, meaning IT organizations have to be integrated into the enterprise as well.
This seemingly simple idea can't be achieved without a healthy relationship between IT and the rest of the business, which begins with establishing an appropriate relationship model and ensuring positive interactions between every IT employee and everyone else in the company.
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For many companies, those interactions can often be anything but healthy. The question is why: Is it a clash of personality types, a clash of cultures, or both?
The mathematics of personality conflict, part two
Last week's analysis concluded that culture clash was the more important factor, but it depended on some back-of-the-envelope calculations. It also suggested that only half of all interactions between IT and business staff are between IT "geeks" and business "non-geeks," but that just about all of the interactions were between IT-geek culture and non-IT/non-geek culture. Culture, far more than personality friction, is the most likely explanation of why relations between IT and the rest of the business are so often dysfunctional.
We can now throw out the envelope. Gang-of-16 member Heather Gollnow tracked down some research that provides actual numbers: "Personality types in software engineering," International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 58 Issue 2, by Luiz Fernando Capretz, 2/2003, and based on the well-known Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
It turns out that last week's estimate wasn't too far off. According to Capretz's research, which compared a sample of 100 software engineers to standard published numbers for the population as a whole, almost exactly two thirds of all IT professionals conform to MBTI personality types appropriate to IT careers, while the same proportion of non-IT staff conform to non-IT personality types.