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Roles of a Manager

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Everything you need to know about the roles of a manager in an organisation. Manager is responsible to integrates all the activities which are performed in an organisation.

In other words, he has to co-ordinate the talents of people working under him for the purpose of achieving the organisational goals.

The role of a manager gets much importance than other executives in an organisation. Hence, a manager’s job is very much complex and requires some special qualities to be a head.

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The roles of a manager can be studied under the following categories:- 1. Interpersonal Roles 2. Informational Roles 3. Decisional Roles.

Some of the interpersonal roles of a manager are:-i. Figure Head Role ii. Leadership Role iii. Liaison Role.

Some of the informational roles of a manager are:- i. Monitoring Role ii. Disseminator iii. Spokesperson.

Some of the decisional roles of a manager are:- i. Disturbance Handler ii. Entrepreneur iii. Negotiator iv. Resource Allocator.

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Additionally, some of the other roles of a manager are:-

1. Managing Work 2. Managing Workers 3. Managing Managers 4. Managing Resources 5. Managing Stakeholders

6. Managing Innovation 7. Managing Pressure Groups 8. Managing PR (Public Relations) 9. Managing Information 10. Managing Globalisation.


Roles of a Manager in an Organization

Roles of a Manager – 3 Roles of a Manager as Classified by Mintzberg

It is important to know “what managers actually do”. Managers play a variety of roles in organisation to manage the work. Henry Mintzberg criticized the traditional func­tional approach. He concluded that functions “tell us little about what managers actually do. At best they indicate some vague objectives managers have when they work. Managers do not act out the classical classification of managerial functions. Instead, they engage in a variety of other activities.” Roles are organized set of behaviours. These are behavioural patterns.

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After studying several managers at work, Mintzberg classified their behaviours into three distinct areas or roles- interpersonal, informational, and decisional. Fig­ure 1.2 shows that managers have formal authority, status, personal characteristics and skills to perform these roles effectively.

1. Interpersonal Roles:

There are three interpersonal roles inherent in the manager’s job. This set of roles derives directly from the manager’s formal position. As the figurehead for his unit, he stands as a symbol of legal authority, performing certain ceremonial duties e.g., signing documents and receiving visitors. The manager in a leader role hires, trains, and motivates his personnel. In the liaison role, manager interacts with many people outside the immedi­ate chain of command, those who are neither subordi­nates nor superiors.

2. Informational Roles:

Informational roles are important because informa­tion is the lifeblood of organizations and the manager is the nerve center of his unit. As a monitor, the manager is a receiver and collector of information. Information is acquired through meetings, conversations, or documen­tation. In the disseminator role, managers distribute information to subordinates daily. As a spoke-person, the manager transmits information to individuals outside the organization. This role is present in all managerial jobs.

3. Decisional Roles:

To get the work done, managers have to make decisions. In performing the decision-making role, man­agers act as entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator. In playing the entrepreneurial role, managers actively design and initiate changes within the organization. It involves some improvements.

As a disturbance handler, the manager handles difficult prob­lems and non-routine situations such as strikes, energy shortages etc. As resource allocator, the manager decides how resources are distributed, and with whom he will work most closely. The fourth decisional role is that of negotiator. Managers negotiate with suppliers, custom­ers, unions, individual employees, the government, and other groups.

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It is important to note that neither the functional (process) nor the role approach provides complete insight into many aspects of a manager’s daily routine. Managers should integrate the role oriented approach with the traditional process approach, because it is, as Jon Pierce says, through the interpersonal, informational, and deci­sional roles that managers execute the planning, organiz­ing, directing and controlling functions.


Roles of a Manager – Role of a Manager in an Organisation: Interpersonal Roles, Informational Roles and Decision-Making Roles

Ask a manager what he does on a typical work day. You will seldom get the answer “Oh, I direct, plan, control, delegate, budget, and hire and fire people.” More often, the answer will be “I attend lots of meetings, write letters, reports, and memos, and listen to complaints……………………. ”

Our working definition describes managers as organizational planners, organizers, leaders and controllers. Actually – every manager takes on a much wider range of roles to move the organization towards its stated objectives.

Probing the behavioural aspect of a manager’s work, his roles may be categorized as follows:

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1. Interpersonal Roles:

Interpersonal Roles are primarily social in nature, that is, they are the roles in which manager’s main task is to relate to other people in certain ways. Three important interpersonal roles are the figurehead, the leader, and the liaison.

Taking visitors to dinner and attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies are part of the figurehead role.

In the role of leader, the manager works to hire, train, and motivate employees.

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The liaison role consists of contacting external sources in context of organizational objectives. For example- a manager at Computers India might be responsible for handling all price negotiations’ with key suppliers of electronic circuit boards.

2. Informational Roles:

Informational Roles involve some aspect of information processing. Three key infor­mational roles are the monitor, the disseminator, and the spokesperson.

The monitor activity seeks information that might be of value to the organization in general or to specific managers.

The manager who transmits this information to others is carrying out the role of disseminator.

The spokesperson speaks for the organization to outsiders. Again, behavioural processes are part of each of these roles, because information is almost always exchanged between people.

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3. Decision-Making Roles:

Four basic decision-making roles are the entrepreneur, the disturbance handler, the resource allocator, and the negotiator.

The entrepreneur voluntarily initiates change, such as innovations or new strategies, in the organization.

The disturbance handler helps settle disputes between various parties, such as other managers and their subordinates.

The resource allocator decides who will get what — how resources in the organization will be distributed among various individuals and groups.

The negotiator represents the organization in reaching agreements with other organizations, such as contracts between management and labour unions.

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The managers – regardless of the type of organization or level in the organization, perform more or less similar roles. However, the functional approach still represents the most useful way of conceptualizing the manager’s job. These roles are substantially reconcilable with the four managerial functions. For example- resource allocation is the part of planning, all three interpersonal roles are part of leading function, and likewise most of the other roles fit into one or more of the four functions.


Roles of a Manager – Explain the Roles of a Manager

Management carries out the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling for the accomplishment of organizational goals. Any person who performs these functions is a manager. The first line manager or supervisor or foreman is also a manager because he performs these functions. The difference between the functions of top, middle and lowest level management is that of degree.

For instance, top management concentrates more on long-range planning and organization, middle level management concentrates more on coordination and control and lowest level management concentrates more on direction function to get the things done from the workers.

Each manager is concerned with ideas, things and people. Management is an innovative process for integrating the use of resources to accomplish certain goals. In this process, ideas, things and people are vital inputs, which are to be transformed into output consistent with the goals.

Management of ideas implies use of conceptual skills. It has three connotations – First, it refers to the need for practical philosophy of management to regard management as a distinct and scientific process. Second, management of ideas refers to the planning phase of management process.

Lastly, management of ideas refers to distinction and innovation. Creativity refers to generation of new ideas, and innovation refers to transforming ideas into viable relations and utilities. A manager must be imaginative to plan ahead and to create new Ideas.

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Management of things (non-human resources) deals with the design of production system, and acquisition, allocation and conversion of physical resources to achieve certain goals. Management of people is concerned with procurement, development, maintenance and integration of human resources in the organization. Every manager has to direct his subordinates to put the organizational plans into practice.

The greater part of every manager’s time is spent in communicating and dealing with people. His efforts are directed towards obtaining information and evaluating progress towards objectives set by him and then taking corrective action. Thus, a manager’s job primarily consists of management of people. Though it is his duty to handle all the productive resources, but human factor is more important.

A manager cannot convert the raw materials into finished products himself; he has to take the help of others to do this. The greatest problem before any manager is how to manage the personnel to get the best possible results. The manager in the present age has to deal efficiently with the people who are to contribute for the achievement of organizational goals.

Peter F. Drucker has advocated that the managerial approach to handle workers and work should be pragmatic and dynamic. Every job should be designed as an integrated set of operations. The workers should be given a sufficient measure of freedom to organize and control their work environment. It is the duty of every manager to educate, train and develop people below him so that they may use their potentialities and abilities to perform the work allotted to them.

He has also to help them in satisfying their needs and working under him, he must provide them with proper environment. A manager must create a climate, which brings in and maintains satisfaction and discipline among the people. This will increase organizational effectiveness.

Recently, it has been questioned whether planning, organizing, and directing and controlling provides an adequate description of the management process. After an intensive observation of what five top executive actually did during the course of a few days at work, Henry Mintzberg concluded that these labels do not adequately capture the reality of what managers do. He suggested instead that the manager should be regarded as playing some ten different roles, in no particular order.

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Some of the roles performed by a manager are:

1. Interpersonal Roles:

Liaison:

In this role of liaison, every manager must cultivate contacts outside his vertical chain of command to collect information useful for his organization.

Leader:

As a leader, every manager must motivate and encourage his employees. He must also try to reconcile their individual needs with the goals of the organization.

Figurehead:

In this role, every manager has to perform some duties of a ceremonial nature, such as greeting the touring dignitaries, attending the wedding of an employee, taking an important customer to lunch, and so on.

2. Informational Roles:

Disseminator:

In the role of a disseminator, the manager passes some of his privileged information directly to his subordinates who would otherwise have no access to it.

Monitor:

As monitor, the manager has to perpetually scan his environment for information, interrogate his liaison contacts and his subordinates, and receive unsolicited information, much of it as result of the network of personal contacts he has developed.

Spokesman:

In this role, the manager informs and satisfies various groups and people who influence his organization. Thus, he advises shareholders about financial performance, assures consumer groups that the organization is fulfilling its social responsibilities and satisfies government that the origination is abiding by the law.

3. Decisional Roles:

Disturbance Handler:

In this role, the manager has to work like a fire-fighter. He must seek solutions of various unanticipated problems – a strike may loom large a major customer may go bankrupt; a supplier may renege on his contract, and so on.

Entrepreneur:

In this role, the manager constantly looks out for new ideas and seeks to improve his unit by adapting it to changing conditions in the environment.

In addition, managers in any organization work with each other to establish the organization’s long-range goals and to plan how to achieve them. They also work together to provide one another with the accurate information needed to perform tasks. Thus, managers act as channels of communication with the organization.

Negotiator:

The manager has to spend considerable time in negotiations. Thus, the chairman of a company may negotiate with the union leaders a new strike issue; the foreman may negotiate with the workers a grievance problem, and so on.

Resource Allocator:

In this role, the manager must divide work and delegate authority among his subordinates. He must decide who will get what.


Roles of Managers – Interpersonal Roles, Informational Roles and Decisional Roles

1. Interpersonal Role:

i. Figure Head Role: 

a. Doing ceremonial duties like receiving visitors, attending the wedding of subordinates.

b. Signing documents.

c. Delivering speeches at social gatherings.

ii. Leadership Role:   

Motivating subordinates and directing them towards goal accomplishment.

iii. Liaison Role: 

a. Integrating organization internally and externally.

b. Integrating individuals with the organization vertically and horizontally.

c. Integrating the organization with its environment to assess the level of competition, magnitude of social change, impact of Government policies, and legislative enactment, etc.

2. Informational Role:

i. Monitoring Role:

Receiving from several sources to obtain thorough knowledge about environments influencing organization.

ii. Disseminator:   

Transmitting information collected from different sources to other members of the organization.

iii. Spokesperson:   

Representing organization to the outside world and explaining goals, policies decision, programmes and results of certain actions.

3. Decisional Role:

i. Entrepreneurs: 

a. Whenever opportunities manifest, he initiates action for capitalizing it. 

b. Absorbing changes or bringing in changes into the organization to capitalize opportunities identified through environmental scanning.

c. Conducting viability study, organizing strategy meeting with the project manager and R&D personnel.

ii. Trouble Shooter:   

Intervening whenever unexpected events unfold like strike, grievances, cash flow shortage, accident, etc.

iii. Resource Allocator:   

Deciding the priorities of organizational activities and allocating resources to those activities.

iv. Negotiator:  

Representing an organization in negotiating deals within the organization and also with external agencies like suppliers’ contractors, banks and the like.


Roles of a Manager – 3 Categories:  Information Roles, Decision-Making Roles and Interpersonal Roles

Managers perform a myriad of roles in discharging their duties. Mintzberg (1973) classified managerial roles into three broad categories, namely –

1. Infor­mation roles,

2. Decision-making roles, and

3. Interpersonal roles.

1. Information Role:

In the information role, managers are expected to use state-of-the-art communica­tion channels to extract the latest information and use it for the advantage of the organization. For example, it is necessary to keep a track about what the competi­tor’s latest moves are. A manager, thus, must use formal and informal channels of communication to know about the competitor’s actions and accordingly, prepare plans to offset their moves in order to retain and grow the market share.

In this role, managers need to monitor the latest happenings in and outside the organization, have to disseminate relevant information to the subordinates and at times, need to act as spokespersons of the organization to interact with the media and people at large.

2. Decision-Making Role:

In their decision-making role, managers have to take four kinds of decisions according to Mintzberg (1973). The first and foremost is to act as an entrepreneur within the organization and try to set new goals and objectives for it. In manage­ment jargon, they need to be the intrapreneurs to identify new opportunities of growth and make the organization exploit such opportunities.

The next role is that of a disturbance-handler—a manager should take appro­priate decisions in crisis situations like strikes, lock-outs, etc. to resolve conflicts between two or more people and to take care of any unforeseen circumstances requiring urgent attention and action.

Managers have to also act as resource allocators. Resources are limited for any organization and optimal utilization of resources helps in minimizing the costs and in increasing the competitiveness of the firm in the market.

There may be instances whereby there may be several competing options for resource alloca­tion and managers have to choose the ones which would result in the best yields and outcomes. For example, a manager may have to choose between spending capital resources in either promoting the existing portfolio of products or in research and development for creating new innovative products.

Another important decision-making role for a manager is to- act as a fierce negotiator. Negotiating prices of supplies with vendors, negotiating selling prices of products with clients, negotiating with trade unions for arriving at fair compensation structures for workers, are a few examples here.

3. Interpersonal Role:

The interpersonal role puts demands on managers in three respects. Firstly, they have to act as a figurehead, i.e. to perform ceremonial and social duties like presenting the progress report before the Board of Directors in board meetings, to preside over major events, e.g. launch of a new product, etc.

Secondly, managers have to act as leaders in directing and motivating people. At last, they have to perform the role of acting as a liaison or an interface with other departments outside their purview to achieve coordination and to create synergy.


Roles of a Manager 

Not only is a manager a team leader, but he or she is also a planner, organizer, coach, problem solver, and decision maker — all rolled into one. And these are just a few of a manager’s roles.

In his classic book, The Nature of Managerial Work (1973), Henry Mintzberg describes a set of ten roles that a manager fills.

These roles fall into three categories:

1. Informational – This role involves the sharing and analyzing of information.

2. Decisional – This role involves decision making

3. Interpersonal – This role involves human interaction.

1. Informational roles:

This involves the role of assimilating and disseminating information as and when required.

Following are the main sub roles, which managers often perform:

i. Monitor — Collecting information from Organisations, both from inside and outside the organisation

ii. Disseminator— Communicating information to organisational members

iii. Spokesperson — Representing the organisation to outsiders

2. Decisional roles:

It involves decision making.

Again, this role can be subdivided into the following:

i. Entrepreneur — Initiating new ideas to improve organisational performance

ii. Disturbance handlers — Taking corrective action to cope with adverse situation

iii. Resource allocators — Allocating human, physical, and monetary resources

iv. Negotiator — Negotiating with trade unions, or any other stakeholders

3. Interpersonal roles:

This role involves activities with people working in the organisation. This is supportive role for informational and decisional roles.

Interpersonal roles can be categorized under three subheadings:

i. Figurehead — Ceremonial and symbolic role

ii. Leadership — Leading organisation in terms of recruiting, motivating etc.

iii. Liaison — Liaisoning with external bodies and public relations activities.


Roles of a Manager – 5+ Roles of a Manager: Director, Motivator, Human Being, Guide, Friend, Planner, Supervisor and Reporter

Manager is responsible to integrates all the activities which are performed in an organisation. In other words, he has co-ordinate the talents of people working under him for the purpose of achieving the organisational goals. The role of a manager gets much importance than other executives in an organisation. Hence, a manager’s job is very much complex and requires some special qualities to be a head.

1. Director – Manager gives direction to people working under him. Direction includes instructions. Manager has directed the executives towards achieving organisational goals.

2. Motivator – Manager understands likes and dislikes of executives and motivates them accordingly. Motivation stimulates the performance of job. Here, the manager stimulates the executives through motivation.

3. Human being – Manager treats all the people working under him equally and no personal bias. He has to mingle with others and understand the feeling of other executives.

4. Guide – Manager should be well aware of using the equipment, techniques and procedures involved in performing specific tasks. If so, he can guide others whenever a need arise.

5. Friend – Unnecessary misunderstanding may be arised among the executives. Now, the manager should come forward voluntarily and eliminate the misunderstanding at the earliest. Here, the manager is acting as a friend.

6. Planner – Day-to-day requirements of the organisation has to be identified and arranged by the manager. He has to plan the work and assign the same to the executives according to their position held.

7. Supervisor – Manager has to supervise and control executive’s performance and maintain personal contacts with them. He has to perform this work along with the work to be performed by him.

8. Reporter – The feedback information is provided by the manager to the top management people. Sometimes, workers’ problems have not been solved by the manager. If so, the same should be communicated to the top authorities.


Roles of a Manager – To Perform the Functions of Management

Managerial roles are specific behaviors of managers during the attainment of organizational goals. Mintzberg identified ten roles to perform the functions of management. According to Mintzberg managing is an integrated activity and these roles are intertwined.

These roles are grouped into three categories:

1. Interpersonal Roles:

When a manager interact with people inside and outside the organization these roles takes place.

There are mainly three roles in this category:

i. As figure heads – In this role a manager welcome visitors, represent the company at community events and function as envoy of the organization.

ii. As leaders – The role a manager welcomes visitors, represent the company at community events and function as envoy of the organization.

iii. Liaison role – In the liaison role a manager connect with outsiders and frame a network with them.

2. Informational Role:

The collecting, processing and disseminating information are involved in the informational roles. The information is collected from various sources both outside and inside the organization. According to 40% time is spended in these roles by managers.

i. As monitors – The environment both inside and outside is scanned by managers. This scanning provides the real position of the organization that whether they are performing well or not.

ii. Spokesperson – A manager plays the role of spokesperson in which he provides the information to outsiders. There is difference with interpersonal roles, as the interpersonal role is related with people while the role of spokesperson deals with outsiders.

iii. Disseminator role – Managers inform regularly to staff about the company’s goals and direction.

3. Decisional Roles:

These roles are concerned with action. In which a manager takes the decisions for the organization.

i. As Entrepreneur – An entrepreneur is a person who, takes the risk and starts a business. In this role a manager develop new ideas and technology to ensure the innovation and change in the organization.

ii. As Disturbance handlers – The manager works like a disturbance handler in the organization, when unanticipated problems take place in the organization.

iii. As Resource Allocator -The organizational resources must be utilized in such a way that they can provide the best results. Thus, a manager allocates the scarce resources to ensure their best use.

iv. As Negotiators – Negotiation is another important role played by the managers in the organization. They bargain with supplier, customers and others for better quality, lower prices, better delivery and prices etc.


Roles of a Manager – 10 Roles Performed by a Manager in an Organisation

Managerial roles explain what managers do at workplace and refer to specific categories of managerial behavior. Like we perform different roles in family (such as – family head, brother, sister, son or daughter, etc.,) and office (trainer, counsellor, coach or mentor, etc.), similarly, managers also perform several roles though officially they are given one job title.

They need to be good Public Relations Officer, spokesperson and strong at maintaining good interpersonal relations. For instance, as a production manager, one needs to be a trainer, monitor, leader, counsellor, mentor, coach, advisor, controller, etc. Dr. Henry Mintzberg in his research report on “Managerial Work – Analysis from Observation” submitted at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA observed that what managers do can best be explained by looking at the roles they play at work.

Mintzberg identified 10 roles a manager plays in an organisation and classified them into three categories:

1. Interpersonal roles,

2. Informational roles, and

3. Decisional roles.

Each of these is defined in detailed:

1. Interpersonal Roles:

Managers need to maintain good interpersonal relations with all the cadres within an organisation and all the stakeholders outside the organisation. Interpersonal roles are more ceremonial and symbolic in nature. These roles derive their authority and status associated with the position within the organisation.

Interpersonal roles are of three types:

i. Figurehead,

ii. Leader, and

iii. Liaison.

i. Figurehead:

Manager as a figure head performs all symbolic legal or social duties and discharges all social, legal and ceremonial obligations. The top most duty of a figure head is to inspire the cadres and the stakeholders with his vision and action plans. In other words, manager is viewed as a symbol of status and authority.

ii. Leader:

Manager as a leader builds relationships with the employees and communicates with them in different levels in the organisation, motivates, and coaches them. He maintains good relationships with his followers. He motivates and oversees the progress achieved by subordinates, offers promotions (and punishes them where the performance is not satisfactory) and encourages for their development, and thus balances the effectiveness in the organisation.

iii. Liaison:

Manager, as a liaison officer, maintains a network of contacts outside the department or organisation to obtain information. He is responsible to provide information and communication at the right time to right people in the organisation. To gain access to knowledge bases, the managers need to network and engage in information exchange.

2. Informational Roles:

Manager is a nerve centre in the organisation in terms of receiving, collecting, and disseminating information.

He plays the roles of:

i. A monitor,

ii. Disseminator, and

iii. Spokesperson.

i. Monitor – Manager, as monitor, seeks internal and external information about issues affecting internal operations, a department’s success and the problems and opportunities. All such vital information is stored and maintained at his level.

ii. Disseminator – Manager, as disseminator, transmits information received from internal and external sources across the organisation. The factual or value based external views are either filtered or highlighted across different cadres in the organisation. To be active disseminators, managers require filtering and delegation skills.

iii. Spokesperson – The spokesperson is an authorised person to update about the operations of the organisation.

3. Decisional Roles:

The job of the manager is to take decisions in different interpersonal roles.

Managers require different types of information and resources to take decisions in different capacities such as:

i. An entrepreneur,

ii. Disturbance handler,

iii. Resource allocator, and

iv. Negotiator.

i. Entrepreneur initiates an organisation. He designs the organisation structure and encourages the tasks to be performed with creativity and innovation. He delegates, empowers and supervises teams in the process of achieving the goals.

ii. Disturbance handler brings in discipline into the organisation by sorting out all the unexpected difficulties.

iii. Resource allocator allocates and oversees the utilisation of financial, material and personnel resources.

iv. Negotiator represents the organisation in major negotiations affecting the business operations.

Authority and status are the major triggers that drive the interpersonal roles and these in turn facilitate the manager to play informational roles. By playing these roles effectively and efficiently, the managers control the affairs, adapt to the situation and control it in a balanced way.


Roles of Managers – Top 10 Roles of a Manager

Urwick and Breach has rightly observed, “No ideology, no political theory can win a greater output with less effort from a given complex of human and material resources, but only sound management. And it is on such greater output that a higher standard of life, more leisure, and more amenities for all must necessarily be founded. In fact the structure of a welfare state can be said to be safe and sound provided it is based on a well organised management. Management contributes a lot towards the making of a state and its citizens. It is the art of developing men, and this fact clearly reflects upon its significance.”

The task of the manager is not an easy one. As he directs the enterprise, he endeavours to allocate human and physical resources wisely to understand and solve a host of problem and to recognise and act upon his opportunities. In fact he faces organisational difficulties. He is expected to make decision and to behave with responsibility.

He is concerned with the needs of individuals coordinating and maintaining subordinates, colleagues and superiors. Their responsibilities demand careful observation objective analysis and sound Judgment- traits of the true professional.

There are ten basic roles of managers. The work of managers is very challenging. Manager’s working at various levels is extremely complex and open-ended at the same time. It is more artistic than scientific. Although the activities of managers at different levels vary, they have important elements in common. The crux of Mintzberg’s work is the identification of ten managerial roles. It helps us to see managerial work across levels and to integrate some of the vast amount of fragmented information on the subject.

Mintzberg felt that the ten roles of managers’ fall into three groups namely, interpersonal role, process information role and decision making role.

All these ten roles are described briefly as under:

1. As figure head – It describes the manager as a symbol required by the status of his office, to carry a variety of social, legal and ceremonial duties.

2. As leader – It describes the manager relationship with his own subordinates, his need to hire, train and motivate them. As a leader the manager must bring their needs in accordance with those of his organisation.

3. As liaison officer – It focusses on the managers dealings with people outside his own organisation.

4. As monitor – It refers to the manager continuously seeking and receiving information about the organisation in order to understand his milieu thoroughly. Much of the information is privileged. He alone receives it because of the contacts he develops in his liaison role and because of his status in leader’s role.

5. As disseminator – In this role, the manager shares some of the privileged information with his subordinates.

6. As spokesman – In this role, the manager informs outsiders about the progress of his organisation.

7. As entrepreneur – In this role, the manager takes the responsibility for bringing about change in his organisation. He looks the problems and opportunities and initiates projects to deal with them.

8. As disturbance handler – in this role, the manager has to take charge when his organisation faces a major disturbance or crisis like the loss of key executive, a strike, destruction of a facility etc.

9. As resource allocator – In this role, the manager decides as to who will get what in the organisation. He schedules his own time according to his priorities. He designs his organisation, decides who will do what, and allocates authority to take all important decisions.

10. As negotiator – In this role, the managers take charge whenever organisation their enter into crucial negotiations with other parties. His presence is required because he has the information and authority to make the real time decisions as difficult negotiations require.

Mintzberg emphasised on the inseparability of these ten roles and advocated for viewing them as forming a ‘Gastalt ‘ an integrated whole. For example, status, as manifested in. the interpersonal roles, brings information to the manager and it is this information (together with the status) that enables him to perform the decision making role effectively. Further he observed that different managers emphasis different roles.


Roles of a Manager – Roles of a Manager in Business: Managing-Work, Workers, Managers, Resources, Stakeholders, Innovation and a Few Other Roles

In the present context, managers play various roles in different organisations. We shall discuss these briefly.

Role # 1. Managing Work:

An organisation comes into existence to achieve some objectives, say sell TVs to earn profits or treat cancer patients to serve the community. Managers have the tasks cut out for them. They must fulfil whatever work the organisation has to do to achieve its objectives, e.g., for selling TVs, they need distributors, salesmen and promotion.

All this must be provided for by the managers to set-up a cancer hospital, they require oncologists, surgeons, radio therapy units, nurses, etc. All this must be done. Managers must live up to the tasks.

Role # 2. Managing Workers:

All managers have to manage their subordinates to whom they delegate the authority and the responsibility for getting the work done. All managers have to manage workers — procure them, induct them, train and develop them, motivate them and lead them. They must be properly compensated too.

Human resource managers have to perform these functions to facilitate the work of the line managers. But that does not mean that only HR managers manage workers. All line managers like the sales and production managers manage workers on day-to-day basis.

Role # 3. Managing Managers:

Managers manage other managers who either advise them, or are their superiors. A marketing manager is advised by a marketing research manager about market trends. They must coordinate well with each other. Similarly, a marketing manager reports to the Chief Executive. He must be able to contribute his own to the achievement of the overall corporate objectives.

Role # 4. Managing Resources:

The big organisations today deploy huge resources of men, machines and money. Managers must do an efficient allocation to get the optimum results.

Role # 5. Managing Stakeholders:

Managers have to manage the stakeholders, i.e., the creditors, the shareholders and the suppliers. All the loans must be serviced properly. Shareholders must maximise their wealth. Suppliers must receive support. The employees too are stakeholders. They form unions and associations to further their interests.

The employee relations must be a priority. There should be negotiations with the unions an ongoing basis. There is an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the shareholders. The final accounts are presented here. These must be properly attended.

Role # 6. Managing Innovation:

An organisation cannot survive in today’s competitive world without having innovative products. Managers must provide for in-house R&D. They must scan the environment for business opportunities and can track the outside R&D. The product development team should be encouraged. Apart from product innovation, we have to introduce innovation in business processes, distribution, delivery, and advertising.

Role # 7. Managing Pressure Groups:

Managers must address the concerns of the various pressure groups around them, say NGOs, community groups, social activists, environmental groups, etc.

Role # 8. Managing PR (Public Relations):

An organisation has to project a favourable public image. Here it is necessary to manage media, arrange press conferences, release press notes, insert publicity materials, etc. At the time of crisis, proper information must be made available to the public. Organisation’s reputation must be managed. There should be public service advertising to project a good corporate image.

Role # 9. Managing Information:

There is a surge of information these days. It must be properly arranged and filtered. Information is crucial for decision making. Managers set-up the right management information systems to assist them. They make use of IT and computers to do so.

Role # 10. Managing Globalisation:

Businesses have become larger. The company operates in many countries. It is necessary to manage globalisation. There are issues of staffing and marketing. There are issues of the organisational set ups, e.g., a joint venture, a technical tie-up, a financial tie-up a takeover etc. Managers must manage the international business.


Roles of a Manager – Roles of a Manager in an Organisation

A manager is a person who performs the functions of planning, organising, staffing, directing, and controlling for the accomplishment of the objectives of an undertaking. Since a manager performs the managerial functions, he is a member of the management of the organisation.

Used in this sense, management includes all those who manage the affairs of an organisation. Every manager is concerned with taking certain decisions and their implementation for the achievement of organisational objectives. He guides the human resources in the effective use of materials, machines and technology.

The Job or Role of Manager:

Management of an enterprise is concerned with the achievement of its objectives. For this, every manager guides and directs the efforts of a group of persons in the organisation. He defines the objectives of his group keeping in view the overall objectives of the enterprise. Each member of the group is assigned a specific task so that the targets of the group as a whole may be achieved. This is necessary for achieving the objectives of the enterprise.

Management is the effective utilisation of human and material resources to achieve the enterprise objectives. The human resources or people use material resources such as machines, materials and money. It is for the management to ensure that people use material resources in the most efficient manner. Only then the objectives of the enterprise could be achieved. For the effective utilisation of resources, the workers may be given adequate instructions and training. They must also be properly motivated so that they work with devotion and loyalty for the achievement of organisational objectives.

According to Drucker, “Every manager is concerned with ideas, things and people.” Management is a creative process for integrating the use of resources to accomplish certain goals. In this process, ideas, things and people are vital inputs which are to be transformed into outputs consistent with the goals of the enterprise.

Some of the characteristics that are common to most of the managers are as follows:

1. Managers spend a major portion of their time in achieving coordination between human and non-human resources.

2. Managers do much work at an unrelenting pace.

3. Managerial tasks are characterised by brevity, variety, and fragmentation.

4. Managers prefer live action—brief, specific, well-defined activities that are current, non-routine, and non-reflective.

5. Managers prefer oral to written communication.

6. Managers maintain a vast number of contacts, spending most time with subordinates, linking them with superiors and others in a complex network.

It has already been observed that managing involves certain functions. While performing these functions, a manager has to play multiple roles. A role consists of the behaviour patterns displayed by a manager within an organisation or a functional unit. Henry Mintzberg conducted a comprehensive survey on the subject of managerial roles and integrated his findings with the results of a study of five practising chief executives.

He identified ten basic roles performed by managers at all levels from foremen to chief executives and classified them under three heads – (1) interpersonal, (2) informational, and (3) decisional. These roles describe what managers actually do, whereas functions of managers had historically described what managers should do.

A brief description of the managerial roles is given below:

(1) Interpersonal Roles:

The first set of behaviour concerns interpersonal roles, which include the following:

(i) Figurehead – Executive managers perform a number of ceremonial duties such as representing their firm at public affairs and overseeing official functions. Lower level managers have ceremonial duties as well, perhaps on a lesser scale, including attending employees’ weddings, greeting visitors, and hosting customers.

(ii) Leader – This encompasses a range of duties suggested earlier including motivating workers, guiding work-related behaviour, and encouraging activities that help achieve organisational objectives.

(iii) Liaison – Managers find themselves acting as liaison between groups and individuals which are part of, or come in contact with, an organisation. The liaison role is important for establishing contacts with suppliers, coordinating activities among work groups, and encouraging harmony needed to assure effective performance.

(2) Informational Roles:

As the term implies, informational roles are concerned with communication among individuals and groups, but managers must also be skilled in gathering and using information to help make effective decisions. More important, they should be able communicators who can transmit information and articulate decisions.

Mintzberg’s three informational roles are as follows:

(i) Monitor – Managers monitor activity, solicit information, gather data, and observe behaviour. Well-informed managers are prepared for decision-making and can redirect behaviour to improve organisational performance.

(ii) Disseminator – Here communications are reversed. Rather than receive information, managers transmit information. Obviously, this is a crucial aspect of management. Subordinates, superiors and managers of similar work groups rely on timely information disseminated with clarity.

(iii) Spokesperson – Top executives find themselves more involved as spokespersons than lower-level managers. A firm’s policy on competition, its philosophy of customer care, and its commitment to safety are topics common in executive speeches.

However, managers at all levels are spokespersons who may be called upon to represent their groups. For example, when department heads meet to discuss operating budgets, they must be prepared to present information and support budget requests of their respective departments.

(3) Decisional Roles:

Mintzberg identified four roles within the list of his behavioural sets.

These are as follows:

(i) Entrepreneur:

In recent years, entrepreneurs have been identified with a commitment to innovation. Managers in complex organisations act in entrepreneurial way, by constantly trying to improve their operations. They seek new ways of using resources, new technologies for enhanced performance, and new systems of organising human resources.

(ii) Disturbance Handler:

Historically, this may be the best understood role of managers because they have always had the primary responsibility for resolving problems. It may also be the most stressful role as managers seem to find themselves constantly faced with disturbances that threaten the harmony and effectiveness of their organisations.

(iii) Resource Allocator:

The third role links planning and organising functions. Managers must plan to meet their objectives and distribute resources accordingly. There will never be sufficient time, money, materials, or manpower to accomplish all that is expected, so resource allocation often involves carefully assigning scarce resources.

(iv) Negotiator:

The allocation process bears on the role of negotiator. When scarce resources must be shared among many operating units, managers with superior negotiating skills will have advantages over others. However, negotiating extends to many managerial activities both inside and outside the firm. Purchase manager, for example, negotiates material prices and terms. Personnel manager negotiates union contracts. Negotiation, of course, does not mean conflict but it does imply face to face bargaining between managers and employees to resolve problems or formulate performance expectations.

The above description of the managerial roles shows that managers must ‘change hats’ frequently and must be alert to the particular role needed at a given time. The ability to recognize the appropriate role to be played and to change roles readily is a mark of an effective manager.

However, it may be concluded that at the lower level, some of the decisional roles and informational roles are more important whereas at the top level interpersonal roles and decisional roles are of greater significance. At the middle level of management, informational roles are found to be more common.

Reconciliation of Managerial Roles and Functions:

Mintzberg’s roles approach describes ‘what managers do’ and provides important insights into the problems and issues involved in managing. The functional approach, on the other hand, provides the general framework for analysing the job of a manager. It prescribes what managers should do. The roles and functional approaches are two sides of the same coin. They are two different but related ways of analysing the job of a manager.

While planning, managers play informational and decisional roles. They receive, store, monitor and disseminate information. They also take policy and operative decisions. In organising, managers play interpersonal and decisional roles. They establish relationships between activities and people, take decisions about utilisation of resources and act as liaisons. In staffing, managers play decisional, informational and interpersonal roles.

They determine human resource requirements, select and train people and maintain personnel records. In directing, managers play interpersonal, informational and decisional roles. They motivate the people by providing various incentives and guide them through communication process. Controlling involves mainly informational and decisional roles. Managers obtain information of results, compare them with the standards and take a corrective action which involves decision-making.


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