Henry Mintzberg's Managerial roles

Published on December 31, 2018
To fulfil the multiple functional responsibilities, managers assume multiple roles. A role is an organized set of behaviours. Henry Mintzberg has identified ten roles common to the work of all managers. 
  • The ten roles are divided into three groups:
    • Interpersonal, 
    • Informational and 
    • Decisional. 
The in role-of-manager formational roles link all managerial work together.

The interpersonal roles ensure that information is provided. 

The decisional roles make significant use of the information.

The requirements of these managerial roles can be fulfilled, or these roles can be played, at different times by the same manager and to different degrees depending on the level and function of management. The ten roles are described individually, but they form an integrated whole.
Henry Mintzberg managerial roles

Interpersonal Role

A manager, in order to be effective, has to assume different roles at different points of time as demanded by the call of duty. The three interpersonal roles are primarily concerned with interpersonal relationships

Figurehead Role

  • In the figurehead role, the manager represents the company legally and socially to those outside of the organization. Every manager has to perform some ceremonial duties such as attending the wedding of employees, entertaining dignitaries and so on. These may or may not have any real substance. The supervisor represents the workgroup to higher management and higher management to the workgroup

Liaison Role

  • In the liaison role, the manager interacts with peers and people outside the organization. The top-level manager uses the liaison role to gain favours and information, while the supervisor uses it to maintain the routine flow of work. For example, becoming a member of social club and professional bodies.

Leader Role

  • The leader role defines the relationship between the manager and the employee. The direct relationship with the people in the interpersonal roles places the manager in a unique position to get information. He must motivate and direct the activities of his subordinates towards the accomplishment of organizational objectives.

Informational Role

  • The three informational roles listed below are primarily concerned with the information aspects of managerial work

Monitor Role

  • In the role of a monitor, the manager receives and collects information. The information collected, by scanning the environment, facilitates managerial decision-making function.

Disseminator Role

  • In the role of a disseminator, the manager transmits special information into the organization. The top-level manager receives and transmits more information from people outside the organization than the supervisor.

Spokesperson Role

  • In the role of a spokesperson, the manager disseminates the organization's information into its environment. Thus, the top level manager is seen as an industry expert, while the supervisor is seen as a unit or departmental expert. The manager informs and satisfies various people who Influence the organization's goals. Thus, he advises the shareholders about financial performance and assures consumer groups that the organization is meeting the social obligations.

Decisional Role

  • The unique access to information places the manager at the centre of organizational decision-making. There are four decisional roles:

Entrepreneur Role

  • In the entrepreneur role, the manager initiates change. The manager seeks and identifies opportunities to promote the needed change. He is also involved in the development and implementation of a change strategy

Disturbance Handler Role

  • In the disturbance handler role, the manager deals with threats to the organization. This role equips the manager to take corrective actions needed to resolve important, unexpected disturbances. He must seek solutions to various unanticipated problems like a strike, accidents and so on.

Resource Allocator Role

  • In the resource allocator role, the manager chooses as to where the organization will expend its efforts. This role deals with allocation of scarce resources to various requests. Specific activities include developing and monitoring budgets, forecasting future resource needs and handling problems in acquiring them.

Negotiator Role

  • In the negotiator role, the manager negotiates on behalf of the organization. The top-level manager makes the decisions about the organization as a whole, while the supervisor makes decisions about his or her particular work unit. For example, a manager might represent the corporation to negotiate a trade union contract, a joint venture and so on.

Supervisor's Role

  • In the role of a supervisor, the manager performs the managerial roles but with different emphasis than higher managers. Supervisory management is more focused and short-term in outlook. Thus, the figurehead role becomes less significant and the disturbance handler and negotiator roles increase in importance for the supervisor. Since leadership permeates all activities, the leader role is among the most important of all roles at all levels of management.

About me

ramandeep singh

My name is Ramandeep Singh. I authored the Quantitative Aptitude Made Easy book. I have been providing online courses and free study material for RBI Grade B, NABARD Grade A, SEBI Grade A and Specialist Officer exams since 2013.

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