What is the Role of a Manager

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12/17/13 What is the role of a manager
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Path :: Home :: Mba/Bba :: Question/Solution Bank :: MS-01 :: Chapter 2- Tasks, Roles, Skills and Responsibilities of Prof essional Manager
Explain the different roles of a manager.
Different managers perform at different levels and require different skills. To meet the
demands of performing their functions, managers assume multiple roles. A role is an
organized set of behaviors. 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.
Interpersonal Roles
The three interpersonal roles are primarily concerned with interpersonal relationships.
By assuming these roles, the manager also can perform informational roles, which, in
turn, lead directly to the performance of decisional roles.
In the figurehead role, the manager represents the organization in all matters of
formality. Some examples of the figurehead role include a college dean who hands out
diplomas at graduation, a shop supervisor who attends the wedding of a subordinate’s
daughter, and the CEO who cuts the ribbon on a new office building.
The leader role defines the relationships between the manger and employees. It
involves directing and coordinating the activities of subordinates. It may involve – hiring,
training, motivating, and encouraging employees. First-line managers, in particular, feel
that effectiveness in this role is essential for successful job performance.
1
The liaison role involves managers in interpersonal relationships outside of their area
of authority. This role may involve contacts both inside and outside the organization.
The top-level manager uses the liaison role to gain favors and information, while the
supervisor uses it to maintain the routine flow of work.
Informational Roles
Receiving and communicating information are perhaps the most important aspects of
a manager’s job
2
. There are three informational roles in which managers gather and
disseminate information.
As monitor, the manager constantly looks for information that can be used to
advantage. The information gathered might be competitive moves that could influence
the entire organization or the knowledge of whom to call if the usual supplier of an
important part cannot fill an order.
In the disseminator role, the manager distributes to subordinates important
information that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. Example: The president of a
firm may learn during a lunch conversation that a large customer of the firm is on the
verge of bankruptcy. Upon returning to the office, the president contacts the vice
president of marketing, who in turn instructs the sales force not to sell anything on
credit to the troubled company.
In the role of 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.
Decisional Roles
According to Mintzberg, there are four decisional roles the manager adopts. In the role
of entrepreneur, the manager tries to improve the unit. For example, when the
manager receives a good idea, he or she launches a development project to make that
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12/17/13 What is the role of a manager
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manager receives a good idea, he or she launches a development project to make that
idea a reality.
In the disturbance handler role, the manger deals with threats to the organization.
Examples: An emergency room supervisor responds quickly to a local disaster, a plant
supervisor reacts to a strike, etc.
The resource allocator role places a manager in the position of deciding who will get
what resources. These resources include money, people, time, equipment, and
information. This is one of the most critical decisional roles. Example: A college dean
must decide which courses to offer next semester, based on available faculty.
Managers spend a great deal of their time as negotiators, because only they have the
information and authority that negotiators require. The negotiations may concern
work, performance, objectives, resources, or anything else influencing the unit.
Examples: A company president works out a deal with a consulting firm; A front line
supervisor may negotiate for new typewriters.
See Also
Explain the tasks of a professional manager
Describe the responsibilities of a professional manager.
Describe various managerial skills?
References
1
Cynthia M. Pavett and Alan W. Lau, “Managerial Work: The influence of hierarchical level and
functions specialty,” Academy of Management Journal 26, no.1 (March 1983): 170-177
2
This suggestion has been supported by the work of John P. Kotter. “The General Manager”, (New
York: Free Press, 1982) and “What Effective General Managers Really Do,” Harvard Business
Review 60, no.6 (1982): 156-167
James A.F Stoner and Chales Wankel, “Management, 3rd edition”, Prentice Hall, Page 17.
Thomas N. Duening and John M. Ivancevich, “Management Principles and Guidelines, 3rd
edition”, Biztantra, Page 37 - 40.
Chris van Overveen, "Managerial Roles", Trimitra Consultants,
<http://www.trimitra.com/articles/roles.html>
"Managerial Roles", Dallas TeleCollege,
<http://telecollege.dcccd.edu/mgmt1374/book_contents/1overview/
managerial_roles/mgrl_roles.htm>
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