The Canadian academic, Henry Mintzberg published an empirical research involving, observing and analysing the activities of the Managers of five private and semi-public organizations, focusing on the day-to-day reality of Managerial behaviour. The study describes the work life of a Manager. Mintzberg then identified ten separate roles in Managerial work, each role defined as an organised collection of behaviours belonging to an identifiable function or position. They are,
1. FIGUREHEAD: The Manager performs ceremonial and symbolic duties as head of the organisation;
2. LEADER: Fosters a proper work atmosphere and motivates and develops subordinates;
3. LIASION: Develops and maintains a network of external contacts to gather information;
4. MONITOR: Gathers internal and external information relevant to the organisation;
5. DISSEMINATOR: Transmits factual and value based information to subordinates;
6. SPOKESPERSON: Communicates to the outside world on performance and policies.
7. ENTREPRENEUR: Designs and initiates change in the organisation;
8. DISTURBANCE HANDLER: Deals with unexpected events and operational breakdowns;
9. RESOURCE ALLOCATOR: Controls and authorises the use of organisational resources;
10. NEGOTIATOR: Participates in negotiation activities with other organisations and individuals.
He further grouped these roles into three subcategories: Interpersonal contact (1, 2, 3), Information processing (4, 5, 6) and Decision making (7-10).
Mintzberg also found that although individual capabilities influence the implementation of a role, it is the organisation that determines the need for a particular role, addressing the common belief that it predominantly a Manager’s skill set that determines success. Effective Managers develop protocols for action given their job description and personal preference, and match these with the situation at hand.
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