Management Roles

Management Roles

What Is Management?

 Describing management is no simple task, and most of the times you’ll find statements like:

 “Management is what managers do”

While that’s true, it doesn’t tell us much unfortunately. So in order to understand the concept of management, you have to understand what managers do.

There are three specific categorization schemes to explain what managers do, result of many years of research and study:

  • Functions (Henry Fayol)
  • Roles (Henry Mintzberg)
  • Skills (Robert L. Katz)

On this article I’m going to focus on the second one, management roles.

Mintzberg Management Roles

Henry Mintzberg is a well know researcher, and the results of his studies about the work of managers were published in The Nature of Managerial Work (New York: Harper & Row, 1973). The term management roles refers to specific categories of managerial behaviour, and Mintzberg concluded that what managers do, can be described by studying ten different and interrelated roles, grouped around interpersonal relationships, transfer of information, and last, but not least, decision making. For a more in depth description you should probably check Mintzberg’s work, but I’ll try to provide a general outline of his conclusions.

Interpersonal Roles

The ones that, like the name suggests, involve people and other ceremonial duties.

-         Leader – Responsible for staffing, training, and associated duties.

-         Figurehead – The symbolic head of the organization.

-         Liaison – Maintains the communication between all contacts and informers that compose the organizational network.

Informational Roles

Related to collecting, receiving, and disseminating information.

-         Monitor – Personally seek and receive information, to be able to understand the organization.

-         Disseminator – Transmits all import information received from outsiders to the members of the organization.

-         Spokesperson – On the contrary to the above role, here the manager transmits the organization’s plans, policies and actions to outsiders.

Decisional Roles

Roles that revolve around making choices.

-        Entrepreneur – Seeks opportunities. Basically they search for change, respond to it, and exploit it.

-         Negotiator – Represents the organization at major negotiations.

-         Resource Allocator – Makes or approves all significant decisions related to the allocation of resources.

-         Disturbance Handler – Responsible for corrective action when the organization faces disturbances.

It’s worth to mention that Mintzberg also considered that as managers perform the roles described above, their activities include reflection and action. Reflection (also called thoughtful thinking) because managers think, ponder and contemplate about their decisions. Action (or practical doing) because every time they act, they are doing something, they are applying their decisions.

Mintzberg’s approach is debatable, but several studies that tested the Management Roles categories in different types of organizations support the idea that managers do perform similar roles. What does change, is the emphasis given to each role, that may vary depending on the organizational level.

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Comments 33 comments

Michael Wong profile image

Michael Wong 6 years ago from Hong Kong

Agree! Sometimes interpersonal role plays even more important role for management!

manageresponsible profile image

manageresponsible 6 years ago

Yes...I absolutely agree with this hub. Great...I actually have a hub that talks about how project manager should be responsible in handling there team in relation with stress...just one of managers responsibilities.

projmanagerespons profile image

projmanagerespons 6 years ago

Project manager should interact more to the team than just instructing them what to do. Have to be concerned with them also. Great post.

Rebecca Morehead profile image

Rebecca Morehead 6 years ago

When you own your own business sometimes you are partaking in all of these roles yourself.

Great thoughts.

sumaiya 6 years ago

Project manager should interact more to the team.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba

The best managers are those that can change their management styles to suit the situation rather than being stuck with one default behavior.

starcraft2guides1 profile image

starcraft2guides1 6 years ago

It' t not always easy to interect the team. But we need to do that. Great hub BDW:)

jagdish das baboo  6 years ago

hare krishna

nabeel hassan 5 years ago

it is best information


Chima,M.Juma 5 years ago

managerial materials in here are am encouraging university students to surveying this article for professional development

dolli 5 years ago

I agreee.great.GBU

Badar Nadeem  5 years ago

Management is individualistic. What someone thinks become his way of managing things.

hanna mayyen visande 5 years ago

its very important to manage a management especially the manager.

moh'ed ali 4 years ago

really the management could be very effective when people interacting.

best wishes

Muktar Hussaini (Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic zaria) 4 years ago

Infact good management determine the success of any organisation.

qazi abbas 4 years ago

best info about the managerial roles & skill

hina 4 years ago

its excellent.............................................

Sathish kumar (Tamil Nadu) 4 years ago

Simple & Intresting Roles...

tbk 3 years ago

needs some examples

Himani ojha 3 years ago

really good..................:))

wisal khan 3 years ago

the explanation are too good but need practical example with every category

JodiGreen profile image

JodiGreen 3 years ago

good advice! interesting hub..

noman ahmad 3 years ago

very nice

rahmat nabi fazal 3 years ago

managenemt is crcial rols for campany

Patriciah@smep 3 years ago


nice 3 years ago


Dicksydienona 3 years ago


dickens 3 years ago

this is very special post for me, it has helped in my research and that is located in

willey 3 years ago

Nice opinion

karen 3 years ago

this helps a lot, thanks.. good fact finding research

inzamam 2 years ago

i like this topic

ramadwa shoni 20 months ago

Nice topic... Your opinions really helped me

Johnd241 18 months ago

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