Date of this Version


Document Type

Research Report

Publication Details

Sudhir Kale and Samir Shrivastava (2001) Applying the enneagram to manage and motivate people

School of Business Working Paper ; No. 8, 2001

© Copyright Sudhir Kale, Samir Shrivastava and the School of Business, Bond University


The Enneagram is an ancient technique of personality classification dating back at least two thousand five hundred years. Enneagram theory suggests that humans can be categorized into nine major personality types. In this paper, we briefly discuss the nine personality types, and make a case for applying Enneagram to inform the traditional sub-functions of HR. We note that Enneagram theory identifies the internal motivations and calling of each personality type and point out that individuals cannot help getting motivated provided their energies are engaged in a manner that enables them to answer their calling. The accomplishment of a task, in fact, the very act of engaging in a task can act as a reward unto itself. This has important implications for the corporate world. We contend that an organization can effectively harness Enneagram theory to engender “intrinsic” or self-motivation.



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