Mintzberg's Management Roles
Management is incorporated into every aspect of an organization, with different roles and responsibilities. Henry Mintzberg (1973), the Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University, defined ten management roles within three categories: interpersonal, informational, and decisional.
Each of the three categories embraces the different roles (from Table 1 of source 1).
- Figurehead: symbolic head, obliged to perform a number of routine duties of a legal or social nature.
- Leader: responsible for the motivation and activation of subordinates; responsible for staffing, training, and associated duties.
- Liaison: maintain self-developed network of outside contacts and informers who provide favors and information.
- Mentor: seeks and receives wide variety of special information (much of it current) to develop thorough understanding of organization and environment; emerges as nerve center of internal and external information of the organization.
- Disseminator: transmits information received from outsiders or from other subordinates to members of the organization; some information factual, some involving interpretation and integration of diverse value positions of organizational influences.
- Spokesman: transmits information (plans, policies, results, etc.) within and outside of the organization; serves as expert on organization's industry.
- Entrepreneur: searches organization and its environment and initiates improvement projects to bring about change; supervises design of certain projects as well.
- Disturbance Handler: responsible for corrective action when organization faces important, unexpected disturbances.
- Resource Allocator: : responsible for the allocation of the organization’s resources; makes or approves of all significant organizational decisions.
- Negotiator: responsible for representing the organization at major negotiations.
A manager's job is never static, and is always in movement. At any given time, a manager may be carrying out some combination of these roles to varying degrees, from none of their time to 100 percent of their time. Over their working life, a person may hold different management positions that call upon different roles (Figure 1).