The work of a Manager

Managerial Roles

There are two approaches to the study of the work of a manager;

1. Functional approach (functions of management)
2. Roles approach (managerial roles)


In this approach we look at the work of the manager in terms of the functions of management. Managerial functions arc the general administrative duties performed by managers in virtually all productive organizations. The functions of management include; Planning; organizing; staffing; Controlling and Directing, These managerial functions are described briefly in the section below.

The Planning Function

Planning is the systematic thought that precedes action. It is the process of deciding ahead of time what should be done, how it should be done, who is to do it, when it is to be done and where it will be done. It involves determining in the present what is to be clone in the future. Planning involves developing and selecting organization missions and objectives and developing courses of actions to achieve the objectives and ensuring Chat the courses of action are implemented.

The Organizing Function

Organising is a process of establishing structures of roles of people in an organization. It involves dividing work into manageable components, assigning people and resources required and coordinating the various activities of organizational members. It involves arranging how the work of the organization will be done and configuring lines of relationship and How of authority.

The Directing Function

Directing is the process of instructing, guiding, inspiring and influencing organizational members to behave in particular ways in order to achieve the organization goals. Directing function has three key components: leadership, motivation and communication.

The Staffing Function

Staffing involves ensuring that the organization has the right kind of people it requires for various positions and in their right numbers. It involves procuring the needed human resources, maintaining and deploying the human resources in a way that will give the entity a competitive success through the use the use of its human resource. It involves manpower planning, recruitment and selection, placement, compensation and reward management, training and development, discipline and conflict management, performance management and appraisal and separation from organization appraisal.

The Controlling Function

Controlling is the process of monitoring performance and taking corrective actions in order to ensure that desired results are achieved. It is an attempt to ensure that events conform to plans adopted. It will involve establishing standards, measuring actual performance and comparing it with the standards so that remedial action can be taken.


Under the roles approach, we look at the work of a manger in terms of the managerial roles played by managers. Managerial roles are specific categories of behaviors associated with managerial positions, Henry Mintzberg identified ten Managerial roles which are classified into 3 broad Categories. These categories include: interpersonal roles; informational roles and decisional roles. The roles are further classified into different dimensions as discussed below.

1. Interpersonal role

Interpersonal roles involve the manager creating and maintaining relationships between the organization and the external parties and between the organizational members.

The specific interpersonal roles include:

a) Figure head

The manager is n symbol representing the organization in all ceremonial matters such as; attending public functions on behalf of the firm, greeting the touring dignitaries, attending the wedding of an employee, taking an important customer to lunch, and so on.

b) Leader role

This involves the manager creating cooperative work teams by fostering team spirit, and resolving interpersonal problems such as conflict, grievances and discipline.

c) Liaison role

This involves the manager creating networks of contacts connecting the organization with the external world as well as connecting his unit with the other units in the firm.

2. Informational roles

Information is the bloodline of any organization. A manager acts as the conduits of all information flows in and out of the organization. The specific informational roles include:

a) Monitor role

This involves the manager seeking out for and receiving information. For example, the manager has to remain alert to the happenings in the business environment. The manager has to be aware of any new entrants in the market, new legislations affecting the business among oilier happenings in the business environment.

b) Disseminator role

This involves the manager transmitting in format ion, for example; communicating the company policy to the staff, communicating the company’s offering to the market and other communications.

c) Spokesman role

This Involves the manager speaking on behalf of others, for instance, the manager has to speak to the on behalf of owners and speak to external parties on behalf of the company.

3. Decisional role

Decision making is the process of making a choice between alternative causes of action. The manager’s position requires him to consistently make decision ranging from routine operational decisions to strategic non- routine decisions.
The decisional roles include;

a) Entrepreneurial role

This involves the manager making investment choices, taking on risks, and making decisions to improve the existing conditions of the firm.

b) Resource allocator role

This involves the manager making decisions on how the limited resources of the firm will be expended and allocated between the competing needs.

c) Disturbance handler role

A disturbance is an y unexpected occurrence that-disrupts the normal How of events, for example, a sudden shortage of raw materials, labor unrest and such disruptions. When such disturbances arise, the manager has to make a decision to arrest the situation and restore normalcy.

d) Negotiator role

This involves the manager participating in bargaining processes on behalf of the firm, for example, negotiating a contract on behalf of the firm and negotiating with the trade unions.

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