Managerial roles according to Henry MINTZBERG

The management role has undergone dramatic changes over time, and the responsibilities of managers have increased significantly in recent years. Today’s managers are expected to take on a variety of leadership roles within their organizations. They must be able to plan strategically, organize efficiently, motivate employees, and lead their teams toward success. These multiple tasks can be overwhelming for even the most experienced managers. So, how do managers do it all? Through the use of specialized managerial roles.

Henry MINTZBERG (1939-) is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern management theory, during his lifetime, he authored numerous books and articles that analyzed different aspects of the management function. His writings have helped shape the development of the field of management and have led to significant changes in the way that organizations are managed today. His work on managerial roles is one of the most famous and influential works in the field. By the end of the 1960s, the Canadian academic Henry MINTZBERG, after many studies about a manager’s duties and responsibilities, end up identifying 10 essential managerial roles classified into 3 categories: Interpersonal roles, Informational roles, and Decisional roles.

1. Interpersonal roles: The notion of formal authority produced 3 managerial roles that involve, fundamentally, interpersonal relationships:

– Figurehead: By virtue of his position at the head of an organization, each manager must fulfill obligations of a legal, ceremonial, and social nature.

– Leader: The manager is the person who guides all the activities of subordinates and motivates them.

– Liaison agent: The manager creates and maintains contacts with both his internal and external environment, for the better functioning of the company.

2. Information roles: The process of receiving, collecting, and disseminating information is one of the keys to the manager’s profession. Three roles describe the information-related aspects of the manager’s work:

– Monitor: The monitor seeks internal and external information about issues that can affect the organization.

– Disseminator: The manager disseminates and transmits the information collected from outside or by his subordinates to members of the organization.

– Spokesperson: The spokesperson transmits information about the organization to outsiders and serves in public relationships capacity.

  3. Decision-making roles: The manager plays the main role in the development of the decision-making system. Four roles describe the manager in this decision-making perspective. -Entrepreneur: The manager looks for opportunities and initiates new projects in the organization. 

– Disturbance handlerWhen the organization faces major problems and unexpected difficulties, it is up to the manager to take corrective actions

– Resource allocator: The manager is responsible for distributing resources of all types, including time, funding, equipment, and human resources to carry out the various activities. 

– Negotiator: Representing the organization in major negotiations is an integral part of a manager’s profession that can not be avoided. This role consists essentially of providing useful data in the context of important negotiations.

Although MINTZBERG’s work was over 40 years ago, it remains highly influential in the field of management. It has been widely discussed and referenced by scholars and other experts in the field. It has also heavily influenced the way in which many modern companies manage their businesses.


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