HENRY MINTZBERG'S 10 MANAGERIAL ROLES

In 1916, French industrialist Henri Fayol defined managerial jobs as consisting of five functions: planning, commanding, controlling, and coordination.

This description of a manager's job, however, was not based on a thorough survey of managers; rather, it was based on his observations and experiences in the French mining industry.

In the late 1960s, Dr. Henry Mintzberg conducted an empirical study to see if Henri Fayol's 50-year-old description of a manager job was still valid in the 1960s

In his study of five executives, Mintzberg discovered that the managers' job can best be defined by the role they play in the organization. 

He used the term ''managerial roles'' to refer to the specific categories of managerial actions or behaviors expected of a manager.

From this research, Henry Mintzberg concluded that managers perform ten distinct but interrelated roles: figurehead, Liaison, leader, monitor, disseminator, spokesperson, resources locator, disturbance handler, and negotiator.

These ten roles are, however, grouped under three headings: Interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles. 

Interpersonal roles

These roles are mostly social in nature, in that they require managers to interact with people in specific ways. The roles are:

1. Figurehead: Managers are the leaders of organizations, and as such, they are in charge of performing specific ceremonial duties. 

Figurehead's role includes things like attending an employee's wedding and interacting with foreign officials.

2. Leader: This is perhaps the most common role of managers. As the leader, managers are accountable for the work and performance of their subordinates. 

As such, managers typically provide training and incentives to their employees too to maximize productivity.

In short, managers' role as a leader is to hire, train, and motivate their subordinates.

3. Liaison: In addition to being the leader and figurehead, Managers also act as liaisons. 

This means they act as a link between the organization and its external stakeholders. They make contact with external sources that are necessary for achieving organizational objectives. 

In order words, the manager's role as liaison is to be the liaison between internal stakeholders and external stakeholders.

Informational Roles

As the name implies, informational roles are mostly informational in nature, that is, they require some form of information processing. 

In other words, informational roles are roles that require the collecting, receiving, and dissemination of information. These roles are:

4.  Monitor: Managers examined their surroundings for information. This information can come from a manager's vast network chains and it can be solicited or unsolicited. 

As such, a manager is usually conscious of happening in his organization that would assist him in accomplishing the organization's goals and objectives.

5. Disseminator: After the information is gathered, it will be of little or no use if it is not disseminated, hence, the disseminator role. 

As the disseminator, the managers disseminate information to their organization or sub-units of the organization. 

Without this managerial role, subordinates won't have access to important because they lack the vast networks of contact that the managers possess.

6. Spokesperson: In addition to disseminating information to people inside the information, Managers send information to people outside the organization. This is the spokesperson role. 

Managers play the role of a spokesperson when they represent and speak for the organization to outsiders.

Decisional Roles

It will be surprising if managers do not make decisions given the level of information they have access to. 

The decisional roles of managers are basically about making decisions that are required for the smooth operation of the organization. 

Under the decisional roles, the manager performs four basic roles which include:

7. Entrepreneur:  Managers plan, direct, and implement changes that are necessary to improve the company or a sub-unit of it.

As entrepreneurs, managers create strategies and innovations that are necessary for the improvement of the organization.

8. Disturbance handler: Managers are also in charge of dealing with challenging situations that are beyond their control. 

Situations like deteriorating economic conditions, strikes, and competitor activity, are far too important for the manager to overlook. 

The managers, as disturbance handlers, take some type of action to resolve these circumstances. 

When there is a strike, for example, the manager may mediate between the organization and the strikers to negotiate an arrangement that benefits both the organization and the strikers.

9. Resource allocator: of course, resources are in short supply. Therefore, must be allocated efficiently among the various organizational units. As a result, a manager's role as a resource allocator is required.

As the resource allocator, Managers decide how much of the organization's resources each subunit receives. They allocate resources such as time, money, and machines to the various parts of the business. 

In a nutshell, managers distribute the organization's physical, financial, intellectual, and human resources across the various components of the organization.

10. Negotiator: Because of their role as resource allocator and spokesperson, Managers are in a unique position to negotiate on behalf of their organization.

They spend a lot of their time negotiating supplier contracts, employee labor contracts, government contracts, customer contracts, and other stakeholder contracts.

Together, each of these ten roles, according to Mintzberg, provides a better reflection of a manager's job. 

Each role is crucial in its own right, and the sum of these managerial roles is certainly greater than the individual roles by themselves.

Consider a manager who does not have access to information. How would he make accurate and timely decisions? How would they allocate resources, or identify new opportunities for their organization?

The truth is that each managerial role is critical to a manager's overall effectiveness 

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According to Henry Mintzberg, Monitor is a role in


Informational roles
Decisional roles
interpersonal roles
None of these

see explanation

According to Henry Mintzberg, monitor, spokesperson, and disseminator are all informational roles

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