Understanding Vendor Personality Types

To simplify the task of defining a vendor’s personality, you need a simple model based on observable behavior that has a proven track record and that someone without a degree in organizational psychology can apply. When it comes to individuals, the most reliable model is probably the one that’s been around for more than 2,000 years: the theory of four humors, or four temperaments: melancholic, sanguine, phlegmatic, and choleric.[6]

With some modifications, this model also applies to organizations, which can be categorized by their primary focus: process, customer, technology, or ideals. (We’ll call an organization that corresponds to more than one of these four categories a hybrid.) Let’s take a look ...

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