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What are the roles of managers?

The cornerstone of organisational effectiveness and overall performance is dependent on the managers in an organisation.

The ability to integrate the individual and the organisation requires a knowledge of the personality and behaviours of the individuals that work in organisations. This forms the basis of successful management.

According to Mullins (2016) the integrating role of managers consists of the execution of work in line with organisational processes, consistent and coherent patterns of activities within the organisation, the ability to coordinate the members of the organisation by providing systems of motivation, job satisfaction and rewards which should lead to improved organisational effectiveness and performance.

Managers perform different roles in organisations and, by nature, what managers do on a day-to-day basis can vary. Henry Mintzberg (1990) described management in terms of the different roles that managers undertake. He said that there are ten management roles which can be split up into the three different categories below:

  • interpersonal (figurehead, leader and liaison): conversations between two or more people
  • informational (monitor, disseminator and spokesperson): communicating information out to others
  • decisional (entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator and negotiator): power and confidence to make decisions.

Essentially, Mintzberg (1990) said that management is an art and it is important for managers to try and learn continuously about their own situations.

Your task

Read the article The Manager’s Job: Folklore and Fact by Mintzberg (1990).

Then, join the discussion to share your thoughts on the following question:

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the views articulated by the author, especially in today’s world?

You may also like to reflect on the roles of a manager highlighted by Mintzberg and identify which ones you feel you are confident in and which ones you find more challenging. If you are not a manager, try to think about this question in relation to a manager whose work you know well.


Mintzberg, H. (1990) ‘The Manager’s Job: Folklore and Facts’. Harvard Business Review [online] March-April. available from https://hbr.org/1990/03/the-managers-job-folklore-and-fact [12 July 2018]

Mullins, L. (2016) Management and Organisational Behaviour. 11th edn. Harlow: Pearson Education

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This article is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Organisational Behaviour: How to Understand Your People

Coventry University