Three of the manager's roles come into play when the manager must engage in interpersonal relationships. The three roles of figurehead, leader, and liaison are each necessary under differing circumstances. Adopting one or another of the three interpersonal roles is made easier by the formal authority the manager obtains from the organization.
The figurehead role is enacted when activity of a ceremonial nature is required within the organization. A baseball manager attending a minor league all-star game, the head chef of a prominent restaurant greeting customers at the door, and the president of a bank congratulating a new group of trainees are all examples of the figurehead role. While the figurehead role is routine, with little serious communication and no important decision making, its importance should not be overlooked. At the interpersonal level, it provides members and non-members alike with a sense of what the organization is about and the type of people the organization recruits.
The second interpersonal role, the leader role, involves the coordination and control of the work of the manager's subordinates. The leader role may be exercised in a direct or an indirect manner. Hiring, training, and motivating may all require direct contact with subordinates. However, establishing expectations regarding work quality, decision-making responsibility, or time commitments to the job are all outcomes of the leader role that are indirectly related to...