Mintzberg Essay

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The manager I chose to interview for this assignment, I shall call him A, is an Australian male in his late 20’s. He works in the private sector as Finance Director of an Australian based organisation which is a joint venture with a large non-Australian-based multinational organisation.

It is a comparatively small organisation in the manufacturing sector, employing approximately eighty people. A is part of the Top Management Team, consisting of the CEO and three other specialised managers, who are the directors of Marketing, National Accounts and Logistics. The final member of the top management team is the Personal Assistant to the CEO whose role is somewhat difficult to define as they perform a broad spectrum of duties. A reports directly to the CEO of the organisation and has two people, the Senior Commercial Analyst and the Commercial Analyst reporting directly to him. The other Directors have varying numbers of middle managers reporting to them.

The interview and questionnaire process was interesting and informative for both of us, as A initially considered that he could complete the questionnaire in a very short period of time, but upon reflection, found that the extent and complexities of his role required considerable thought and time to analyse.

It is interesting to note that although this questionnaire is based on Mintzberg’s (2006) managerial theory, A’s management skills can also be defined in other ways. However, this does not necessarily imply he is a bad manager or lacks the right education and knowledge required of a person in his position. The fact that A has reached his position at his young age suggests that he has the combination of education, training, skills, personality, and, above all ability to carry out his role successfully. As Tenglad (2006) observed Mintzberg “attacked a specific form of management education as exemplified by the full-time Master of Business Administration degree in Great Britain. Furthermore, he stressed that the requirements needed for an effective management should include the general intellectual skills gained from a good higher education, the technical knowledge about organizations, and managing skills. He stressed that most business schools are concentrating on the technical side of educating managers”.

The complexity of A’s role is evident in the fact that although his management style does generally fit into the categories suggested by Mintzberg; Interpersonal, Informational and Decisional roles, there is a great deal more that he does that can not be so “easily” summarised. There is also a lot of overlap between the categories and tasks he performs, causing them not to fit easily into one particular category but rather into several.

An analysis of A’s responses to the questionnaire will illustrate the following:

Question 1(i) although participating in these tasks, A assessment of the extent of his input was “moderate” and he fairly described it as part of his involvement as a team. Whilst he researches and prepares recommendation papers he then presents them to the board for approval. Therefore while initially it appears as though this fits into Mintzberg’s (2006) Decisional category possibly as entrepreneur and resource allocatur it is not wholly appropriate to either since A does not make the decisions alone.

Question 1 (ii), this part of A’s job fits more comfortably into Minzterg’s (2006) Decisional - resource allocatur category and he describes it as a major part of his role. It is an aspect very appropriate to his position as he has a number of important duties to carry out and needs to be able to allocate and delegate tasks to his subordinates effectively, knowing that the work will be satisfactorily carried out. Again, however, it should be noted that in terms of the company structure, A’s role is a part of a larger team so that he is not solely responsible for the allocation of resources or the making, or even approving, of organisational...
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