Published: 20th August 2008
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"One of the most important tasks of a manager is to eliminate his people's excuses for failure. A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs" - Robert Townsend. In modern business world to achieve the organizational aim, the manager has to perform various roles, duties and responsibilities which includes enhancing the goodwill of the company in the eyes of various sections of the society like the shareholders, customers, government, media, society, suppliers, dealers etc; effective utilization of available resources; providing adequate return on capital; maximizing customer loyalty and satisfaction; problem-solving; decision making; providing guidance and boosting the morale of the employee by monetary / non-monetary motivation; developing team spirit; creating congenial work environment; rendering health care facilities to the local community; maintaining a pollution free environment; building good relations with the suppliers / dealers; goal formation, implementation of goal, accomplishment and evaluation of goal and taking suitable actions; performing various functions of management such as planning, staffing, organization, leading, motivation, coordination, controlling as rightly said by Paul Hawken, "Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them."

Henry Mitzberg has classified ten common roles for all managers, which are divided into three groups: - Interpersonal, Informational and Decisional. Interpersonal Role includes figurehead role (the manager represents his organisation formally and informally to the external and internal people of the organisation for performing various social and legal task), liaison role (the manager has to maintain a network of outside contact to gain information), leader role (the manager must motivate, guide and direct its subordinates by leading through example). Informational Role are monitor role (the manager must collect various information, monitor and analyze the change in the environment), disseminator role (the manager transmits the information to top management, sub-ordinates, colleagues and lower-level), spokesperson role (the manager represents his organisation as a speaker for various events and functions). Decisional Role includes entrepreneur role (the manager must be open to changes, ideas, improvements, criticism, suggestions, opportunities and development), disturbance / conflict handler role (the manager must act as a fire-fighter and resolve unexpected/critical fights, incidents within and outside the organisation like strikes, accidents, etc), resource allocator (the managers must effective allocate scare resources among competing wants through appropriate budgeting, and forecasting), negotiator / supervisor role (the manager has to negotiate on behalf of the organisation with the trade unions, and other companies for joint venture, merger, acquisition, etc).

Finally, H.S.M. Burns once said, "A good manager is a man who isn't worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him. Take care of those who work for you and you'll float to greatness on their achievements".

Rupal Jain, Lecturer, Atharva Institute of Management Studies (Mumbai), and I can be reached at

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