Manager Roles and Skills

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Q # 1: Describe three different roles of a manager; what skills are essential to perform these roles?

Ans: Many people say, that “management is what managers do” While that’s true, it doesn’t tell us much unfortunately. So in order to understand the concept of management, you have to understand what managers do.

There are three specific categorization schemes to explain what managers do, result of many years of research and study: • Roles (Henry Mintzberg)
• Skills (Robert L. Katz)
There are three different management roles, which can be subdivided in ten more categories, which I am going to discuss here. Management Roles:
Henry Mintzberg is a well know researcher, and the results of his studies about the work of managers were published in The Nature of Managerial Work (New York: Harper & Row, 1973). The term management roles refers to specific categories of managerial behavior, and Mintzberg concluded that what managers do, can be described by studying ten different and interrelated roles, grouped around interpersonal relationships, transfer of information, and last, but not least, decision making. Interpersonal Roles

The ones that, like the name suggests, involve people and other ceremonial duties. -         Leader – Responsible for staffing, training, and associated duties. -         Figurehead – The symbolic head of the organization. -         Liaison – Maintains the communication between all contacts and informers that compose the organizational network. Informational Roles

Related to collecting, receiving, and disseminating information. -         Monitor – Personally seek and receive information, to be able to understand the organization. -         Disseminator – Transmits all import information received from outsiders to the members of the organization. -         Spokesperson – On the contrary to the above role, here the manager transmits the organization’s plans, policies and actions to outsiders. Decisional Roles

Roles that revolve around making choices.
-        Entrepreneur – Seeks opportunities. Basically they search for change, respond to it, and exploit it. -         Negotiator – Represents the organization at major negotiations. -         Resource Allocator – Makes or approves all significant decisions related to the allocation of resources. -         Disturbance Handler – Responsible for corrective action when the organization faces disturbances. It’s worth to mention that Mintzberg also considered that as managers perform the roles described above, their activities include reflection and action. Reflection (also called thoughtful thinking) because managers think, ponders and contemplates about their decisions. Action (or practical doing) because every time they act, they are doing something, they are applying their decisions. Mintzberg’s approach is debatable, but several studies that tested the Management Roles categories in different types of organizations support the idea that managers do perform similar roles. What does change is the emphasis given to each role that may vary depending on the organizational level. Management Skills:

A manager's job is varied and complex. Managers need certain skills to perform the duties and activities associated with being a manager. What type of skills does a manager need? Research by Robert L. Katz found that managers needed three essential skills. These are technical skills, human skills and conceptual skills. Technical skills include knowledge of and proficiency in a certain specialized field, such as engineering, computers, financial and managerial accounting, or manufacturing. These skills are more important at lower levels of management since these managers are dealing directly with employees doing the organization's work. Human skills involve the ability to work well with other people both individually and in a group. Because managers deal directly with people, this skill is crucial! Managers with good human skills are able to get the...
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