What is a Managerial Roles?

3 min read

What is a Managerial Role?

What exactly is the most difficult job in any office space? Some may say that the accounting department is tough, some might find sales harder. But above all, the one person that oversees everything actually does the hardest job. No, he doesn’t have a specific task, he has multiple ones. A manager of course, Managerial Roles have to be the jack and master of all trades, or else the company will not be reaching success anytime soon.

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What is Managerial Roles?


Henry Mintzberg, a Canadian academician, published a book in 1973 titled ‘The Nature of Managerial Work’. The book turned out to be a classic as Mintzberg showed data analysis to show the manager’s day-to-day works. The results came astounding as he proved that a manager could not stick to one single task, because they’re constantly interrupted by crisis, meetings, decision making, and phone calls. Over the course of years since the book was published, the role of a manager has become even more complex, even more stressful.

Mintzberg, in his book, stated that a manager’s workload can be described by analyzing their overall roles, initially inventing the term ‘managerial roles’. According to him, there are 10 identifiable roles a manager generally plays in any organization. The 10 roles also fall into 3 basic categories such as:

  1. Interpersonal roles,
  2. Informational roles,
  3. Decisional roles.

Interpersonal Roles

Interpersonal Roles

How the manager behaves is taken into account here. The manager and his/her interpersonal contacts are the basic elements of this category. Interpersonal roles mean basically ceremonial and symbolic rules. They usually involve subordinates and people who aren’t working at the company- managers need to have an interpersonal connection with them.

When it comes to interpersonal roles, there are three. A manager should be a Figurehead, Leader, and Liaison.

1. Figurehead

As mentioned above, the symbolic duties are a part of a manager’s interpersonal roles. To be more specific, the ‘figurehead’ attribute refers to such works. Most of the social and legal initiations are performed by the manager. This is an important role for a manager because it shows authority and managerial status.

2. Leader

A manager isn’t just the boss in his office, he is the leader of his team, the one who leads an army of officials. His work involves mentoring his employees through guidance, motivation and friendly gestures. A good manager is also the coach of his employees, always teaching them new things to improve themselves.

Success is built on that manager-employee relationship, so being a leader is very important as a manager. As a leader, he oversees the works, promotes and compliments his subordinates according to their performances.

3. Liaison

Like the government liaison officers, a manager also needs to maintain a vast network outside his workplace to keep track of the other organizations and collect information. This is very crucial because in this age of technological advancement, not knowing your rival company’s next move will immediately put you off the tracks.

A manager has his obligations regarding information, so a decent engagement with the outside world and forming a network of contacts is necessary.


Informational Roles

Informational Roles

In the last role, liaison, we understood how important information in this age of technology. Now we’ll go through the next three roles, the ones that refer to information. These roles involve the collection, receiving, and dissemination of information.

There are three informational roles as well, being a monitor, spokesperson, and disseminator.

4. Monitor

As a monitor, a manager seeks information that may affect his organization positively or negatively. One of his duties would be to do the assessment of internal operations. He has to find out the key points behind a department’s initial success and reasons behind failures.

5. Disseminator

A disseminator can also be called a transmitter since he is the person who transmits the information. The information can obtain from different sources, both internal and external. This role requires good filtering skills. A disseminator has to have good delegation skills as well.

6. Spokesperson

Monitor seeks information, then the disseminator transmits them internally, and a spokesperson transmits the information externally. This is the PR role of a manager, and it is essential to keep the stakeholders updated. The stakeholders need to know the operational duties and updates after all!


Decisional Roles

Decisional Roles

Decisions. Probably one of the toughest words in the dictionary, because making a decision is a risky business. When the decision turns out to be the right one, the manager will get minimal praise, but if it goes wrong, then it’s a horrible day for the manager. Initially, the interpersonal roles led to decisions and decisional roles. The information and data are use to make a final decision.

The four decisional roles are entrepreneur, resource allocator, disturbance handler and negotiator.

7. Entrepreneur

A manager may work for a company, he may have the board of directors as his bosses, but to his subordinates, he needs to be an entrepreneur. He has to be a designer, an initiator who can encourage the employees to bring in positive changes. This role actually insists the managers create unique and innovative projects, motivate and train teams to develop their work ethics.

8. Resource allocator

A manager should know where and how to allocate resources. This is very essential because that’s what the whole purpose of the company is all about- maximizing the utility. A manager allocates resources like time, equipment, human resources, and funding.

9. Disturbance handler

The title says it all. As a manager one will face a good lot of disturbances and crises almost every day. The handler takes legit and corrective actions when any organization is faced with difficulties. It can also be called the crisis management role.

10. Negotiator

Negotiating skills are very essential for a manager, for they need it in every possible scenario. This is a task that is an integral part of the figurehead, spokesman, and disturbance handler roles too. From maintaining a crisis to doing major deals- a manager is a negotiator everywhere!


In conclusion, the ten roles set by Mr. Mintzberg represent some big responsibilities managerial roles. However, the networking, the connection, and the negotiation- if a manager can excel in these, he will turn out to be a fine manager in no time. All we need is a little adapting capability, that all!

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