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The following article was written by Coleman Patterson and appeared in the Business section of the Abilene Reporter-News.

10 roles key to managerial effectiveness, March 11, 2006, 2D.

Because all organizations are dependent on effective management and organization to survive and prosper, great care should be taken choosing and training people for management jobs.  In many cases, long-time and responsible employees, and those who are experts in their jobs get promoted into management positions.  While loyalty, length of service, and job-specific expertise are admirable qualities for organizational leaders, they are not enough.

Higher-level managers, employees, co-workers, owners and shareholders, customers, competitors, suppliers, governments, and interest groups all place different demands on organizational managers.  This wide variety of stakeholders and constituencies who have influences on organizations requires that those filling management positions to be versatile and able to diplomatically appease the demands of the various groups.  To successfully meet such a diverse set of professional demands, managers must be able to switch between different role responsibilities.

The skills and competencies needed to successfully coordinate and direct the work of others are diverse and multi-faceted.  A proper balance of analytical and intuitive decision making styles and task and people behaviors are necessary to solve organizational problems and to get the best out of the workers.  Goal setting and strategy formulation and execution are just as important as attending to the personal and professional needs of the workers.

The manager痴 job is much more complex and detailed than it first seems.  In fact, Henry Mintzberg identified a set of 10 managerial roles that managers and organizational leaders must regularly perform and assume to function effectively in their positions.  He described those roles as:

  1. Figurehead葉he manager serves as the symbolic head of the organization and performs obligatory social or legal duties.
  2. Leader葉he manager provides vision, direction, and motivation for workers to achieve organizational goals.
  3. Liaison葉he manager serves as a bridge between outside supporters and the organization.
  4. Monitor葉he manager seeks and receives internal and external information of importance to the organization.
  5. Disseminator葉he manager transmits received information to members of the organization.
  6. Spokesperson葉he manager transmits information about the organization to parties outside the organization.
  7. Entrepreneur葉he manager seeks out productive opportunities and initiates efforts to bring about changes.
  8. Disturbance handler葉he manager is responsible for corrective actions to remedy disturbances and crises.
  9. Resource allocator葉he manager is responsible for the allocation of all kinds of organizational resources.
  10. Negotiator葉he manager bargains with other groups to gain advantages for his or her own group or organization.

To effectively perform role responsibilities, managers should be proficient to some degree in all ten of Mintzberg痴 roles預lthough research findings show that the emphasis given to the various roles changes with organizational level.  Different combinations of these interpersonal, informational, and decisional roles are required across all levels of management.  Individuals should be chosen for management positions based on their abilities to learn and perform the complex and varied requirements of the job.

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ゥ 2006, 2007, 2008  Coleman Patterson, All Rights Reserved