Journal Articles

The Paradox of Soft Skills versus Technical Skills in IS Hiring

2004, Journal of Computer Information Systems

Chuck Litecky, Kirk P. Arnett, Bipin Prabhakar


This paper calls attention to a paradox in the recruiting and hiring literature in IS and offers a possible reconciliation of the paradox based on recent advances in behavioral decision theory. The paradox is the contradictory demand for IT/IS technologies as advertised job skills in contrast to soft skills as actual or implicit hiring criteria. The specific purpose of this research is to introduce a model that may explain and reconcile the use and importance of both technical skills and soft skills in the hiring of IS personnel. This model utilizes a variant of emerging behavioral decision theory, called Image Theory to develop a two-stage process of IS hiring where the first stage utilizes technical skills for filtration and the second stage utilizes soft skills for the choice in actual hiring. This model of IS hiring decision making may serve as a starting point for future research on the demand for IS job skills.


Litecky, Chuck, Kirk P. Arnett, and Bipin Prabhakar (2004), "The Paradox of Soft Skills versus Technical Skills in IS Hiring," Journal of Computer Information Systems, Fall.

Kelley School of Business

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