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The ThomasSystem

Bo Ottenback, SLG Thomas International, Sweden

The ThomasSystem is a self administered instrument, not a test, that measures human behaviour in working environment. It allows you to see how people see themselves, how they behave under pressure, and how others see them. It provides an understanding of behavioural differences between staff and subordinates, and can be used to determine the internal and external motivation factors of a person. The ThomasSystem was developed in US from Moulton-Marston´s theories of normal behaviour in a working environment. Thomas Hendrickson developed the analysis method. The ThomasSystem is the most widely used system to evaluate human resources with distributors in more than 40 countries and translated into 40 languages.

What can the system be used for?

1. Recruitment and selection
2. Team building
3. Identification of individual training needs
4. Motivation purposes
5. As the basis for annual appraisals
6. Solving relationship problems
7. Personnel inventory
8. Identification of company’s corporate and individual management style

The personal profile system

The Personal Profile System is a managerial aid to recruiting, selection, training, counselling and team building. It comprises of two instruments the Human Job Analysis (HJA) and the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA).
The HJA provides a means of identifying the behavioural requirements of a job specification.
The PPA provides the means of identifying the behavioural characteristics of the individual.
Combined they bring people and jobs together in a compatible match to provide maximum job satisfaction and productivity.

The personal profile analysis

The Personal Profile Analysis is a systematic procedure designed to measure personal characteristics, an excellent vehicle for selecting new and internal applicants, for coaching, counselling and for the motivation of employees.
Indeed feedback from the profile will result in answers to the following and many more questions.
1. In what areas will the person be most productive?
2. How does this person communicate?
3. Would this person make a good administrator?
4. Would this person be a good sales person?
5. Will this person need a lot of encouragement?
6. Is this person a self starter?
7. Can he/she respond to competition?
8. Can he/she follow specific instructions?
9. What type of leadership traits does this person have?
10. How is this person motivated?
11. Is this person willing to comply?
12. Does this person have a strong self image?
13. What training will this person require?
14. Could this person be developed to assume greater responsibility?
15. What type of person does this individual work well with?
16. What other types of people does this person need?

How the profile works

The profile is a simple, self administered questionnaire. It can be completed in just minutes, and is ideal for companies requiring a quick and accurate analysis of a person’s characteristics.
The profile itself can be tailored to fit the company needs.

What factors the PPA assesses

Basically we assess four factors

Four dimensions of behaviour

High Dominance

-Decisive actions and decisions
-Likes control
-Dislikes inaction
-Enjoys challenge

High Influence

-Works well with and through people
-Spontaneous actions and decisions
-Has good persuasive qualities
-Works quickly and excitingly

High Steadiness

-Deliberate in actions and decisions
-Good listener
-Works steadily and cohesively with others
-Has ability to gain support from others

High Compliance

-Works accurately and precisely
-Cautious actions and decisions
-Likes organisation and structure
-Works well alone


Whilst it is easy to assess each factor in isolation it must be remembered the other three factors will have considerable influence on that assessment. The PPA system therefore takes into account factors working with or in opposition to each other and allows a precise, positive and easy to read and administer assessment to be made of a person’s characteristics.

Scientific research about the Thomas system in Russia

During the last three years research about the Thomas System has been made at St Petersburg State University, Psychological Institution. They have made correlation studies to identify factors that are correlated especially to Personal Influence