All managers, regardless of level in the organisation or job title – vice-president of marketing, director of accounting services, machine shop foreman, or supervisor of clerical support, perform the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. To perform them he must fill various roles. The role requirements are influenced by a manager’s formal job description and also arise from the values and expectations of the manager’s superiors, subordinates and peers. Roles required of a manager are:
1. Figurehead Role.
A manager is the head of his unit. Thus, he must routinely perform certain ceremonial duties e.g. entertain visitors, attend a subordinate’s wedding, or participate in a group luncheon.
2. Leadership Role.
The manager is the environment creator. He plays this role by working to improve employees’ performance, reducing conflict, providing feedback on performance, and encouraging growth.
3. Liaison Role.
Managers interact with others besides superiors and subordinates; they work with peer level managers in other departments and outside contacts (suppliers, clients). In this role the manager is building contacts through which to gather information.
4. Monitor Role.
The manager is constantly monitoring the environment to determine what is going on. This information is collected both directly, by asking questions, and indirectly, through unsolicited information.
5. Spokesperson or Representative Role.
The manager is the person who speaks for his work unit to people outside the work unit. One part of this role is to keep superiors well informed and a second aspect is to communicate outside the organisation.
6. Entrepreneur Role.
As the manager is exposed to new ideas or methods that may improve the work unit’s operations, he initiates activities that will encourage the work unit to use the ideas most advantageously.
7. Disturbance Handler Role.
What happens when parts of the work environment – schedules, equipment, contracts get out of control? The manager must handle these crises as they develop.
8. Resource Allocator Role.
The manager is responsible for determining who in the work unit gets the resources (money, facilities, equipment), and how much each person gets.
9. Negotiator Role.
Negotiating is required on contracts with suppliers or simply on trading off resources inside the organization. The manager must play this role because he is the only one in the work unit with both the information and authority negotiators need to have.
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