Mintzberg Manager Analysis

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Table 2.7
The Roles of Managers (Mintzberg, 1973)

Role Description Examples of Activities
Interpersonal
Figurehead Symbolic head; obliged to perform a number of routine duties of a legal or social nature Ceremony; status requests; solicitations
Leader Motivation and activation of subordinates; responsible for staffing, training and associated duties Virtually all managerial activities involving subordinates
Liaison Maintains self-developed network of outside contacts and informers who provide favours and information Acknowledgment of mail; external board work; other activities involving outsiders
Informational
Monitor Seeks and receives a wide variety of special information (much of it current) to develop thorough understanding
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This caught the attention of researchers, and studies were conducted both in terms of hierarchical level (Alexander, 19879; Pavett & Lau, 1983) and functional area (Paolillo, 1987; McCall & Segrist, 1980). Pavett and Lau (1982) found significant differences between managers at top and lower managerial level on eight of the ten Mintzberg roles, and differences between managers at middle and lower managerial level on six of the ten roles. Mintzberg (1973) also found that individual personality, style and values contribute towards determining how a manager works and performs his or her roles, though they usually do not determine which roles the job requires. Other studies have considered the person variable in terms of gender differences (Smith & Schellenberger, 1991), as well as age, tenure, and educational level (Beggs & Doolittle, 1988).
Similar to previous studies, Mitchell (2000) also reported that the level of education and age were identified as important determinants for generational differences in the attitudes and behaviour of workers. He suggested that the level of education influences people’s values, wants and needs, and makes them think and behave differently. Age, on the other hand, tends to give a greater or lesser degree of expression of individualism amongst the workers, where the younger generations are feeling more comfortable, exhibiting individualistic

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