Team Composition: Personality Types
Three main types of personality
Sometimes people on a team work well together, and sometimes
personalities clash so harshly that no work gets done.
Different folks are motivated by different things. In work
environments we see three types:
motivated by the work itself; technicians, challenged by the
technical details and problems to be solved
motivated by personal success; software development may be a
means to other goals, such as management position, experience
towards starting a company, etc.
motivated by the hive itself... by the presence and actions of
co-workers; perhaps this type has not been so common since SE
is seen publicly as not having human interactions (contrast to,
say, social work or teaching) but may be changing
Each individual has elements of all three motivating him/her, but
one form is usually dominant.
Study by Bass and Dunteman (1963)
People of each type described themselves
Task-oriented called themselves
self-sufficient, resourceful, aloof, introverted, aggressive, competitive,
Interaction-oriented called themselves
unaggressive, low needs for autonomy, low needs for achievement,
Self-oriented called themselves
disagreeable, dogmatic, aggressive, competitive, introverted, jealous
Teams were built from all one type
Only the team of all interaction-oriented folks was
Task-oriented and self-oriented teams were negative about their groups.
Oversupply of leaders, probably
"Groupthink" (Janis, 1972)
Sometimes groups can fall into acceptance of a bad idea simply
because it becomes consensus. No critical examination happens
due to group loyalty, personal heistation to "stand out",
Sometimes a "caustic" or disagreeable person on a team can
be a valuable asset even though he/she seems troublesome.
This person can be the foil that causes analysis instead of
This can also be fought successfully with code reviews, design reviews,
structured formal times for critique, especially involving
folks from outside the team.
Managers have a tough job...
to build teams that have the "right stuff"