What are Mintzberg's Management Roles?

Mintzberg’s Management Roles is a Guideline that describes what Roles Managers tend to play on a daily basis.

  • These Roles were established by Henry Mintzberg in 1990.


According to Mintzberg, there are 10 main Roles that Managers usually play.

These Roles are classified into 3 different categories:

  • Interpersonal Roles.
  • Informational Roles.
  • Decisional Roles.

10 Roles Managers Play

Interpersonal Roles

These Roles are those whose purpose is to Interact, Motivate and Improve Relationships between employees.


1. Figurehead: Managers tend to be Aspirational Figures.

  • Somebody people admire, with Authority, Presence and Integrity.


2. Leader: Managers lead People, not just on Work-related matters.

  • Managers know How to Lead and make People follow them.


3. Liaison: Managers must know How to Bond and establish Relationships.

  • Establishing alliances with third parties and other internal departments.


Informational Roles

Managers know, or must know, How to Understand, Process and Transmit data, in order to Allocate Resources properly.


4. Monitor: Managers Analyze and draw Accurate Conclusions from available data.

  • They know what information is important and what is not.


5. Disseminator: Managers know How to Transmit data effectively.

  • Highlighting what is important based on who will receive the Information.


6. Spokesperson: A Manager knows How to speak on behalf of the Company.

  • No matter if he (or she) speaks with internal employees or third parties.


Decisional Roles

Managers tend to fill that position because they know how to make the best Decisions.

A right decision can make a company successful … And a bad one can doom it.


7. Entrepreneur: A Manager has to be able to take Innovative and Brave Decisions.

  • Adapting to New Trends and Technologies.


8. Disturbance Handler: Managers must solve the Problems that the Company has.

  • Internal and external Problems.


9. Resource Allocator: Managers must Properly Allocate Company Resources.

  • By assigning the right tasks to the right employees, for example.


10. Negotiator: Managing implies to Negotiate with Employees, Suppliers, etc.

  • A Manager is continuously Negotiating to make things move forward.

Mintzberg’s 10 Managerial Roles.


Now, let’s see the first example:

UBER CEO - Mintzberg Managerial Roles example.


We don’t know if you know who Travis Kalanick is.

  • He founded UBER.


He is surely a Brilliant person and a very good Businessman.

However, due to different controversies, he had to stop being the CEO of UBER.


We don’t want  to judge or evaluate his Political views or Personal life.

  • We hardly know what happened and, of course, we don’t know him in person.


We’re just saying that UBER’s image was (supposedly) in danger, and he had to leave the company he had created.

  • For the good of the Company.


If you are the CEO of a famous company, you must be especially careful with Interpersonal Roles:

  • What you say and how you say it.
  • How People regard you.
  • etc.

No matter what you think or what your Personal opinions are.


Today, more than ever.

  • Bad news spread like fire.

We know what you might be thinking right now:

  • Should I Remember all these Roles? How is all this helpful to me?“.


How can you use these Roles?

Now, we’ll give you some Tips on how to get the most out of them:

Importance of Mintzberg Managerial Roles

If you are not a Manager yet, start behaving as one of them.

  • Only if you act as a Manager, you’ll be considered for the position.


Analyze yourself honestly and look for your flaws.

  • Check in which roles you should improve the most.


Remember that Managers don’t just focus on technical Problems.

  • The higher you go up the hierarchical ladder, the less technical the tasks are.


Personal Relationships are very important when it comes to being a Manager.

  • Take care and improve your Interpersonal Skills.

Time to see more examples:

Examples of Mintzberg Managerial Roles

We have chosen 3 examples that will help you understand How these Roles are Played.

  • And how, we have them in front of us even if we don’t realize it.


Let’s begin:

A Guru - Mintzberg Managerial Roles example


Today, there are multiple tech gurus out there:

  • Bill Gates.
  • Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Jack Dorsey.
  • etc.


We don’t know what it’s like to work with these “gurus”.

  • How they analyze data.
  • How they organize tasks.
  • How they Negotiate.
  • etc.


But, what we know is this:

They are Figures people admire.

  • They donate money to charity.
  • The vast majority of them get involved in social issues.
    • We will not judge whether it is for better or for worse.
  • They are very influential in society.
    • Again, we won’t judge whether it is for better or for worse.


Also, they tend to be accurate in some of their predictions.

  • Like it or not, they are very intelligent people that know what is going on.


They know that they run Large Corporations that have a strong influence on Society.

  • Everybody uses Facebook , Twitter, Windows, etc… on a daily basis.


They take seriously the Interpersonal Roles.

  • Otherwise, why would a guy with billions of dollars worry about anything other than enjoying his money?

A President - Mintzberg Managerial Roles example


Elected Presidents are also a good example.


It is very obvious that they need good Interpersonal Skills.

  • In fact, that is what made them become Presidents.


But, like it or not, Presidents must take important Decisions.

  • Especially if the country is going through a crisis.


People tend to complain about their Presidents, but don’t think about How difficult that position is.


They play Decisional Roles every day:

  • Taking Brave decisions (some better than others).
  • Solving the Problems that the Country is going through.
  • Properly Allocating the country’s Resources.
  • Negotiating with Unions, other Countries, Regional Governments, etc.


Of course, Presidents make mistakes (many) but they face many problems when managing an entire country.

  • And, if you think about it, there isn’t a single Role that they don’t play every day.

A Captain - Mintzberg Managerial Roles example


Even if they are not technically Managers, captains have many of their Attributes.

  • The “Manager” of a Team is the Coach.


They Lead their Teams and make important decisions in the game field.


Among the most Important Roles they play are:

  • Figurehead: Representing the entire Team.
  • Leader: Being an example for the rest of the Team.
  • Liaison: Establishing good Relationships within the Team.
  • Entrepreneur: Taking Brave decisions in the field.


If you think about it, you can surely think of “Bad Captains” (of any sport).


What made them Bad Captains?

  • Surely, they didn’t play these Roles adequately.


Mintzberg’s Management Roles is a guideline that describes the 10 Roles that Managers tend to play on a daily basis.


These 10 Roles are classified into 3 different categories:

  • Interpersonal Roles.
    • 1. Figurehead.
    • 2. Leader.
    • 3. Liaison.
  • Informational Roles.
    • 4. Monitor.
    • 5. Disseminator.
    • 6. Spokesperson.
  • Decisional Roles.
    • 7. Entrepreneur.
    • 8. Disturbance Handler.
    • 9. Resource Allocator.
    • 10. Negotiator.


Tips on how to get the most out of Mintzberg’s 10 Roles:

  • If you are not a Manager yet, start behaving as one of them.
  • Analyze yourself honestly and look for your flaws.
  • Remember that Managers don’t just focus on technical Problems.
  • Personal Relationships are very important when it comes to being a Manager.

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