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    Sep 18, 2015    |   Aidan Millar

The Influence of J and P on Organizational Character

puzzle-piecesOrganizational character is a concept based on Jungian type theory that the MBTI® assessment has employed for decades. William Bridges work has looked at how organizations differ from each other just as people do.
He has developed a model that can be used to characterize an organization on the four dichotomies of Extraversion-Introversion, Sensing-Intuition, Thinking-Feeling, and Judging-Perceiving.
In my own work with teams, I’ve most frequently observed that the J and P dichotomy is not only the most difficult for people to ‘flex’ (it is the source of where we find comfort, competence and productivity at work), but often, the entire organization’s approach to deliverables can influence or endorse the behaviour of its employees – regardless of their individual preferences. Therefore, we will compare and contrast “J organizations” and “P organizations” in terms of general organizational character, keeping in mind that although the organizational level may seem ‘homogenous’ in its approach, alternative perspectives still offer up value and benefit – if they receive the opportunity to be embraced, voiced and utilized.

‘Judging’ Organizationstraining (4)

Judging organizations usually have long-term planning in place and avoid deadline crunches. They make and follow agendas, and work towards closure by making decisions and completing projects. Judging organizations get stressed when the unexpected occurs, and their desire for closure can get in the way of gathering intelligence. They set specific standards, and define things in great detail.

confusion-311388_1280 (2)‘Perceiving’ Organizations

Perceiving organizations are uncomfortable with long-term planning, and are energized by deadline drive pressure. These organizations like to keep their options open and are very flexible in the face of change. Perceiving organizations set general standards and often leave things vague and undefined. While they tend to be good at gathering intelligence, they can be weak on making decisions.

Have you worked for a company with a J or P organizational character? How was this approach effective? Was the style overused to the detriment of an alternative perspective? We’d love to hear from you!


William Bridges and Chris Edgelow have developed an assessment tool and workbooks to help teams, departments, and organizations identify their character. Understanding organizational character can help groups identify strengths and areas for development, mange change, and resolve conflict. For more information on organization character, you can read William Bridges book “The Character of Organizations: Using Personality Type in Organization Development.”



Filed under: Type Talk