Mintzberg’s observations and research indicate that diverse manager activities can be organized into ten roles. For an important starting point, all ten rules are vested with formal authority over an organizational unit. From formal authority comes status, which leads to various interpersonal relations, and from these comes access to information, which, in turn, enables the manager to make decisions and strategies.
The ten roles are divided into three categories: interpersonal, informational, and decisional.
Three of the managers’ roles involve basic interpersonal relationships:
The figurehead role: Every manager must perform some duties of a ceremonial nature (e.g., the president greets the touring dignitaries, the sales manager takes an important customer to lunch). These activities are important to the smooth functioning of an organization.
The leader role: This role involves leadership directly (e.g., the manager is responsible for hiring an training his own staff). The leader role encompasses relationships with subordinates, including motivation, communication, and influence.
The liaison role: in this role the manager makes contacts inside and outside the organization with a wide range of people: subordinates, clients, business associates, government, trade organization officials, and so on.
The processing of information is a key part of the manager’s job. Three roles describe the informational aspects of managerial work:
The monitor role: This role involves seeking current information from many sources. For example, the manager perpetually scans his environment for information, interrogates liaison contacts and subordinates and receives unsolicited information.
The disseminator role: In their disseminator role, managers pass information to other, both inside and outside the organization.
The spokesperson role: In their spokesman role, managers send some of their information to people outside the organization about company policies, needs, actions, or plans.
The manager plays the major role in his unit’s decision-making system. Four roles describe the decisional aspects of managerial work:
The entrepreneur role: In his entrepreneur role,� managers search for improvement his unit to adopt it to changing conditions in the environment.
The disturbance handler role: This role involves responding to high-pressure disturbances. For example, manager must resolve conflicts among subordinates or between manager’s department and other departments.
The resource allocator role: In their resource� allocator role, managers make decisions about how to allocate people, budget, equipment, time and other resources to attain desired outcomes.
The negotiator role: The negotiations are duties of the manager’s job. These activities involve formal negotiations and bargaining to attain outcomes for the manager’s unit responsibility.
These ten roles are not easily separate: “No role can be pulled out of the framework and the job be left intact”. However, this description of managerial work should be important to managers: “…the managers’ effectiveness is significantly influenced by their insight into their own work” (L. Gulick).