Managerial Roles and Skills - Principle of Management

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Managerial Roles and Skills

Managerial Roles:

Mintzbergs a management thinker identified ten roles and classified them within three broad categories.

  1. Interpersonal Roles
  2. Informational Roles
  3. Decisional Roles

1. Interpersonal Roles:

  1. Figure head role: In this role a manager performs symbolic duties required by the status of his office. His activities include to greet the visitors attends the employee family functions.
  2. Leader: A Manager is responsible for the motivation and activation of subordinates. She/he is responsible for staffing, training and associated duties.
  3. Liaison: It describes a manager’s relationship with the outsiders. A manager maintains smooth relation with other organization government’s industry groups etc.

2. Informational Roles:

  1. Monitor: A manager scans the environment and collects internal and external information’s.
  2. Disseminator: Manager distributes the information to his subordinates in order to achieve organizational objectives.
  3. Spokes person: A Manager transmits the information’s to the outside of the organization.

3. Decision Role:

  1. Entrepreneur: Initiates and supervises design of organizational improvement projects.
  2. Disturbance handler: A manager is responsible for taking corrective action when organization faces problem.
  3. Resource allocated: Manager is responsible for allocation of human, monetary and material resources.
  4. Negotiator: As a manager he bargains with suppliers, dealers, trade union, agents etc.

Managerial Skills:

Robert L. Katz identified three kinds of skills for administrators. To these may be added a fourth—the ability to design solutions.

  1. Technical skill is knowledge of and proficiency in activities involving methods, processes, and procedures. Thus it involves working with tools and specific techniques. For example, mechanics work with tools, and their supervisors should have the ability to teach them how to use these tools. Similarly, accountants apply specific techniques in doing their job.
  2. Human skill is the ability to work with people; it is cooperative effort; it is teamwork; it is the creation of an environment in which people feel secure and free to express their opinions.
  3. Conceptual skill is the ability to see the "big picture," to recognize significant elements in a situation, and to understand the relationships among the elements.
  4. Design skill is the ability to solve problems in ways that will benefit the enterprise. To be effective, particularly at upper organizational levels, managers must be able to do more than see a problem. If managers merely see the problem and become "problem watchers," they will fail. They must have, in addition, the skill of a good design engineer in working out a practical solution to a problem.

The relative importance of these skills may differ at various levels in the organization hierarchy. Among these skills, technical skills are of greatest importance at the supervisory level. Human skills are also helpful in the frequent interactions with subordinates. Conceptual skills, on the other hand, are usually not critical for lower level supervisors. At the middle management level, the need for technical skills decreases; human skills are still essential; and the conceptual skills gain in importance. At the top management level, conceptual and design abilities and human skills are especially valuable, but there is relatively little need for technical abilities.

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