Henry Mintzberg’s Management Roles: 10 Roles of a Manager [Explained]

What are the Roles of Manager?

The roles of managers are the duties and tasks performed in the organization. All managers working at different levels of the organization need to perform various roles according to their job responsibilities and authority.

The roles of manager is also called managerial roles or management roles. Every manager in the organization has the duty and responsibility to perform necessary roles based on their position and authority.

Henry Mintzberg, a prominent researcher, during the 1970s, criticized the traditional functional approach of management as unrealistic. He had done a careful study of five chief executives at work for two weeks. He specified that the managers serve 10 different roles but all are closely related to each other.

10 Roles of Manager Suggested by Henry Mintzberg

  1. Figurehead
  2. Leader
  3. Laison
  4. Monitor
  5. Disseminator
  6. Spokesperson
  7. Entrepreneur
  8. Disturbance Handler
  9. Resource Allocator
  10. Negotiator

Mintzberg and his followers have recommended that an effective way of inquiring about what managers do is to concentrate on the key roles they perform.

These 10 roles of managers have been grouped into three categories: interpersonal, informational, and decisional roles. It can be shown in the following picture,

Henry Mintzberg's roles of a manager

Let’s understand each of the roles of a manager suggested by Mintzberg in detail.

Interpersonal Roles of Manager

The interpersonal role of a manager is concerned with contracts and dealing with other people. The manager tries to maintain an interpersonal relationship with employees and outsiders on behalf of an organization.

Interpersonal roles of managers include – figurehead, leader, and liaison.

Figurehead

The figurehead role of a manager involves performing ceremonial and symbolic duties within an organization. These tasks may include greeting visitors, attending special events, and representing the organization in a symbolic capacity.

The manager serves as a prominent figurehead, acting as a representative of the organization’s values and image. To excel in this role, a manager should strive to be a positive role model, lead by example, demonstrate empathy, and inspire confidence in their responsibilities.

For example, a CEO attending a grand opening event and delivering a speech on behalf of the company.

Leader

In addition to their managerial responsibilities, a manager also serves as a leader within an organization. The leadership role involves guiding, motivating, and controlling employees to ensure discipline and efficiency.

A manager leads by directing, coordinating, and supervising various organizational elements to achieve desired goals. They influence employee behavior, lead employee groups and departments, and strive to align their efforts with the organization’s interests.

Effective leadership requires developing skills, respecting employees, setting a good example, and enhancing emotional intelligence. For example, a team leader inspires and guides his team toward successful project completion.

Liaison

The liaison role of a manager involves establishing connections and coordinating activities between the organization and external entities. This role helps managers maintain social and business relationships with outsiders, contributing to a positive public image.

Related: What is Coordination? Definition, Features, Objective, Types, and Importance

Managers act as a bridge, fostering good relationships by integrating with people, addressing community concerns, and fulfilling social responsibilities. A good liaison role requires effective communication, understanding of community issues, and aligning organizational interests with community needs.

For example, a manager engaging with local stakeholders, attending community events, and collaborating with external partners to support social initiatives.

Informational Roles of Manager

Information is the lifeblood of the organization and proper communication of day-to-day activities is necessary for every organization. Sometimes or in some situations managers have to play an informational role and this role establishes the managers as the central point for receiving and dispatching non-routine information.

These roles consist of receiving, collecting, and dispatching information. The informational roles of a manager include the three – monitor, disseminator, and spokesperson.

Also Read: Organizational Behavior: Definition, Features, Importance, and More

Monitor

The monitor role of a manager involves gathering and analyzing information about the organization’s internal and external performance. This includes collecting data from various sources, both formal and informal, to stay informed about changes in the environment.

Managers regularly assess activities happening within and outside the organization to keep updated and make informed decisions. They carefully analyze the collected information and determine its relevance in developing effective strategies.

To excel in the monitor role, managers should enhance their information-gathering and analysis skills, stay updated on environmental changes, and differentiate between useful and irrelevant information.

For example, a manager tracks market trends, competitor activities, and internal performance metrics to make informed business decisions.

Disseminator

The disseminator role of a manager involves sharing relevant information gathered through analysis with employees within the organization. Managers are responsible for organizing and delivering the right information to the right individuals or departments to ensure the effective execution of plans and policies.

They act as information distributors, transmitting necessary and appropriate information through various communication channels. To be skillful in the disseminator role, managers should enhance their communication skills, establish efficient delivery channels, and ensure effective sharing of information.

For example, a manager conducts team meetings to communicate updates, share reports, and memos, and use technology platforms for internal information sharing.

Also Read: Team – Definition, Features, Types, & Ways To Manage

Spokesperson

The spokesperson’s role as a manager involves representing the organization to external parties as its agent. In this role, the manager communicates the organization’s perspective on specific matters and addresses inquiries from the public.

They serve as the voice of the organization when interacting with external stakeholders, such as the public, media, and government agencies. Managers share relevant organizational information and are responsible for effectively responding to public questions.

To be good as a spokesperson, managers should develop public speaking skills, effectively represent the organization’s interests, collaborate with the media, and confidently address inquiries from various sources.

For example, a manager delivering a press conference or participating in public forums to discuss the organization’s position on important issues.

Decisional Roles of Manager

Roles associated with methods, managers use in planning strategy and utilizing resources. The decisional role concerns choosing the best solution to a problem from among many alternatives.

The collecting of information and maintaining the relationship with others serve as a basis for decision-making. The four important decisional roles are entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator.

Entrepreneur

The entrepreneurial role of a manager involves initiating change, taking risks, and fostering innovation within the organization. As an entrepreneur, the manager identifies and explores new opportunities, generates creative ideas, and makes decisions regarding new projects or investments.

For example, a marketing manager who constantly seeks innovative product ideas demonstrates an entrepreneurial role. Managers in this role are encouraged to think outside the box, embrace creativity, and proactively address challenges in order to achieve organizational goals through innovative approaches.

To enhance the entrepreneurial role, managers should learn from successful entrepreneurs, develop skills in strategic thinking and implementation, cultivate a creative mindset, and be open to taking calculated risks for the organization’s improved performance.

Disturbance Handler

The disturbance handler role of a manager involves effectively managing unexpected events or crises within the organization. When conflicts or disturbances arise, such as strikes or disputes among employees, it is the manager’s responsibility to address and resolve them in a tactful manner.

Additionally, managers must be prepared to handle uncertain disturbances that may arise from a changing environment and make necessary decisions to prevent or mitigate their impact.

Related: How To Manage Conflict In An Organization: 13 Ways For It

To excel in the disturbance handler role, managers should acquire conflict resolution techniques, develop the ability to manage employee emotions and foster a positive attitude towards conflicts. By effectively managing disturbances, managers can maintain a harmonious and productive work environment.

Resource Allocator

The role of a manager as a resource allocator involves making decisions about the allocation of scarce resources, such as money, people, time, and equipment, among different functions and divisions within the organization.

This includes setting budgets for lower-level managers and determining where resources are most needed. Effective resource allocation is crucial for maximizing productivity and achieving organizational goals.

To be a good resource allocator, managers should have knowledge of budgeting, prioritize resources based on their importance, understand the connection between resources and activities, and strive to utilize limited resources efficiently.

For example, a manager may allocate funds to invest in new technology or allocate manpower to departments with high-priority projects.

Related: 3 Levels of Management: Lower, Middle, & Top

Negotiator

The role of a manager as a negotiator involves engaging in discussions and reaching agreements with various stakeholders, such as other managers, departments, unions, customers, and shareholders. Managers negotiate to secure advantages for their units and protect the interests of the company. This includes bargaining for resources, work arrangements, performance objectives, and resolving organizational challenges through negotiations.

Managers engage in negotiations with suppliers, distributors, government agencies, and labor unions to address issues and find mutually beneficial solutions.

To be a good negotiator, managers should acquire negotiation skills, including effective communication, problem-solving, and creating win-win outcomes. For instance, a manager may negotiate with a supplier to secure favorable pricing terms or engage in labor negotiations to reach a fair and satisfactory agreement for both parties.

Roles of Manager: Conclusion

The above-mentioned 10 roles of managers are essential to have in every manager. And, these ten managerial roles’ significance can be realized when managers perfectly apply them to workplace settings and get exceptional returns.

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