THE MANAGER’S ROLE IN ORGANIZATIONS
Managers must wear many different hats in formulating and implementing task activities related to their positions. In an attempt to understand the diversity of hats managers must wear, many author examined managerial activities on a daily basis. Their study enabled them to identify ten different but, coordinated sets of behavior, or roles, that managers assume. These ten roles can be separated into three general groupings: interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles.
According to Mintzberg (1980:57), managers at all levels perform ten interrelated roles. These roles fall into three groupings, namely: • Interpersonal roles – which derive from the manager's status and authority. • Informational roles – which derive from the interpersonal roles and the access they provide to information; and • Decisional roles – which derive from the managers authority and information. In Mintzberg (1980:182) it can be learnt that although managers are required to perform all of the basic managerial roles, most managers must give attention to certain roles at certain situations.
A variety of factors determines what roles managers must emphasise at a particular time (Mintzberg, 1980:182). These factors are the following: • The type of industry an organisation is in
• The size of an organisation
• The level of the particular manager in the organisation
• The function supervised
• The situation at the moment
• The job itself and
• The environment of the organisation.
1 Management viewpoints and thinking of role
According to Hellriegel et al (1999: 45), management viewpoints can be divided into the following:
1.1 The Traditional Viewpoint
This is the oldest viewpoint, and it stresses the manager’s role in a strict hierarchy and focuses on the consistent and efficient job performance (Hellriegel et al, 1999: 440). From Hellriegel et al (1999:54), it can be learnt that the Traditional Viewpoint can be divided into three branches, namely, the Bureaucratic, the Scientific and the Administrative management. Plunkett (1996: 4) described managers who believed in the traditional view as having the following characteristics: • They give commands and orders to their sub-ordinates, who in turn must obey • They plan their sub-ordinates’ work, without consulting them and • They continuously inspect the work of their sub-ordinates.
1.2 The Behavioural Viewpoint
The people who believe in this viewpoint also believe that if managers communicate with employees and satisfy their work-place needs, the organisation will be more effective (Hellriegel et al, 1999: 70). The proponents of the Behavioural Viewpoint look at how managers need to change their assumptions about people. However, the economical aspects of work seem to be ignored although these are important to workers. This fact was shown by Hellriegel et al (1999: 60), when he mentioned that low salaries tend to lead to absenteeism and turn-over. The application of the Behavioural Viewpoint approach alone can therefore not be enough for management to achieve their goals through other people.
1.3 The Systems Viewpoint
This is an approach used by managers to solve problems by diagnosing them within a framework of inputs, transformation processing, outputs and feedback. Hellriegel et al (1999: 60) argued that for organisations to survive in changing environments, they would have to install and utilise increasingly sophisticated systems, in order to help managers to make decisions
1.4 The Contingency Viewpoint
Hellriegel et al (1999: 70) noted that as organisations became global, none of the earlier management concepts seemed to apply totally to various situations. The proponents of the Contingency Viewpoint then drew from each of the other viewpoints involving a different set of competencies (Hellriegel et al, 1999:71). In this viewpoint, it is stressed that the aforementioned viewpoints can be...
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