Management Roles

We all have different roles to play.  Sometimes these roles can be conflicting.  For example, we may need to spend a lot of time at work to provide financial stability to our household.  But at the same time, we are expected to spend time with our families.  We may also be expected to serve as a leaders and mentors in society and serve on committees.  All these conflicting demands cause tension and may have a detrimental effect on ourselves.

The roles management play

It is important for managers to successfully integrate and handle the various demands.  The roles a manager must interpret are divided into three main categories.

  1. Interpersonal roles
  2. information roles
  3. Decision roles

Each of these categories consists of a number of roles (Kroon; 1989; p.17 et. Seq).

Interpersonal Roles

As the head of a department, a manager has certain ceremonial duties, such as handing over awards.

A manager also have a leading role to play, for example motivate, train and communicate with subordinates.

A manager also fulfill a liaison role between departments or other organizations.

Information Roles

A manager must monitor  events that could affect the business.

When a manager communicate information, he play the role of distributor of information .

When a manager report on behalf of his department, he play the role of spokesman.

Decision Roles

When the manager initiates new projects, he plays the role of an entrepreneur .

When managers deal with conflict between individuals or groups, they fulfill the role of mediator.

Managers play a resource allocation role when they allocate the necessary resources for the successful execution of tasks.

Managers also play the role of negotiator between various parties

Relationship between management roles, functions, activities and skills

There is a complex relationship between all these different roles, functions, activities and skills.  For example, to play the decision making role, you will rely heavily on your conceptual skills.  The roles of entrepreneur and resource allocator forms part of a manager’s planning tasks.  To fulfill your interpersonal and informational roles, requires a great deal of interpersonal skills.  The leadership roll is closely related to the activation function.  Technical skills are required when acting as spokesperson for the department or company.



Hannes Kruger, Management training manual.  Written for the Meat Board, Chapter 1

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