Final Mintzberg’s Assignment 2013 Essay


First and foremost, I would like to thank to our Lecturer, Dr. M Sooltan Sohawon, for the valuable guidance and advice. He inspired us greatly to work in this project. His willingness to motivate us contributed tremendously to our project. Also, we would like to take this opportunity to thank, all those who has helped us in one way or another.

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This assignment would not have been possible without the guidance and the help of several individuals who in one way or another contributed and extended their valuable assistance in the preparation and completion of this study. Finally, an honorable mention goes to our families and friends for their understandings and supports on us in completing this project. The guidance and support received from all the members who contributed and who are contributing to this project, was vital for the success of the project. We are grateful for their constant support and help.

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”I can see the whole … at a single glance in
my mind, as if it were a painting or a handsome
human being”.

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Table of Contents:






Mintzberg’s Managerial Roles



Interpersonal Roles



Informational Roles



Decisional Roles

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Application of Mintzberg’s Model in the Educational field








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Critically study Mintzberg’s description of the ten managerial roles – A.Interpersonal roles ( 1. Figurehead 2. Leader, 3. Liaison) B.Informational roles (4. Monitor, 5. Disseminator, 6. Spokesperson and C.Decisional roles, 7. Entrepreneur, 8. Disturbance handler, 9. Resource allocator and 10. Negotiator. Discuss how far Mintzberg’s description of these roles holds true for those in educational management and leadership. Provide examples from your field of work to support your arguments.

Management is one of the important human activities and has critical impact on life, growth, development or desolation of an organization. Managers’ roles are considerably critical for any kind of organization anywhere in the world. A manager must be a complete businessperson by understanding the strategic, tactical and operational responsibilities he or she holds, as a manager’s roles fluctuates from time to time. A good manager must ensure that he/she understands all of his or her roles in order to perform them effectively. This managing process has become very important for an organisation by dividing job responsibilities so that the efficiency and effectiveness of tasks are more achievable. In general a good manager must have a global understanding of all business functions, organisational goals, his or her level of accountability and the appropriate way to serve both internal and external clients of the organisation.

There are many roles a manager has within an organisation and most of the
discussions are related to Mintzberg’s (1990). For instance, a manager is doing three levels managerial roles and Henry Mintzberg classified the ten roles into three distinctive categories: Interpersonal roles, informational roles and decisional roles.

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0.1 Mintzberg’s Managerial Roles
Mintzberg published his Ten Management Roles in his book, “Mintzberg on Management: Inside our Strange World of Organizations,” in 1990. The ten roles are listed below:
1. Figurehead.
2. Leader.
3. Liaison.
4. Monitor.
5. Disseminator.
6. Spokesperson.
7. Entrepreneur.
8. Disturbance Handler.
9. Resource Allocator.
10. Negotiator.
Mintzberg’s (1994) classified the Ten Management Roles into three categories and specified them as Interpersonal, Informational and Decisional. The 10 roles divided up into three categories are:




Disturbance Handler
Resource Allocator

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All the ten managerial roles stated in the table above are essential to all three managerial levels and they vary rationally.

1.0 Interpersonal Roles
Interpersonal roles are the first category of roles described by Mintzberg. These roles involve the behaviors associated with human interaction. In other words, interpersonal roles are those roles that allow a manager to interact with his or her employees for the purpose of achieving organizational goals. There are three roles listed under interpersonal roles, which include figurehead, leader and liaison. Interpersonal category roles involve providing information and ideas. A brief description of the roles is explained as follows:

1.1 Figurehead
As a manager, there are social, ceremonial and legal responsibilities and he/she should to be a source of inspiration. People look up in a manager as a person with authority, and as a figurehead.
1.2 Leader
A manager’s role is to provide leadership for his team, department or perhaps the entire organization; and it’s where he/she manages the performance and responsibilities of everyone in the group.

1.3 Liaison
Managers must communicate with internal and external contacts. Therefore
he/she needs to be able to network effectively on behalf of the organization.

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2.0 Informational Roles
The second category of managerial roles is informational roles. The informational roles include those roles in which a manager must generate and share knowledge to successfully achieve organisational goals. There are three roles listed under informational roles, which include monitor, disseminator and spokesperson and the roles in the Informational category involve processing information. 2.1 Monitor

In this role, a manager should regularly seek out information related to the organization and industry and looking for relevant changes in the environment. A manager should also monitor his team, in terms of both their productivity, and their well-being.

2.2 Disseminator
This is where a manager should communicate potentially useful information to his colleagues and team.
2.3 Spokesperson
Managers represent and speak for their organization. In this role the manager’s responsibility is for transmitting information about the organization and its goals to the people outside it.

3.0 Decisional Roles
The third category of managerial roles according to Mintzberg is called decisional roles. Decisional roles include roles such as the entrepreneur, disturbancehandler, resource-allocator and negotiator. All of these roles involve the process of using information to make decisions. Hence, the decisional roles in this category involve using information.

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As a manager, one should create and control changes within the organisation. This means solving problems, generating new ideas, and implementing them. 3.2Disturbance Handler
When an organization or team hits an unexpected barrier, it’s the manager who must take charge and needs to help in mediating clashes within it. 3.3Resource Allocator
A manager need to determine where organizational resources are best applied. This involves allocating funding, as well as assigning staff and other organisational resources.
A manager may be needed to take part in, and direct, important negotiations within his team, department, or organization.

4.0 Application of Mintzberg’s Model in the educational field

The example below will show how these three roles have been applied in the educational sector. The example is a fleeting experience of a meeting that Mr. Desha, the present manager of New Eton College had with his section leaders on a Monday morning. On that very morning Mr. Desha presented a new course of action as a new implemented policy of the school in which he envisioned to recompense the class sections having least troubles concerning indiscipline related issues at school.

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4.1Application of Interpersonal roles
Since the beginning of the second term many issues have been raised concerning indiscipline among students (e.g. morning lateness, absenteeism, coming to school without student journal and others) and on this account Mr. Desha the Manager decided to set up the new policy to ensure that discipline bridles in the school environment.

During the meeting with the section leaders he advised that he intended to tackle chiefly the issue concerning morning lateness and as the new school policy he sought of rewarding the best section with the least number of
morning lateness with an outing at the end of the term. When Mr. Desha addressed the meeting, he spent time talking and motivating the section leaders. He opined by holding a friendly challenge among the sections concerned. He advised the section leaders to inform the students about the implemented policy concerning the issue of morning lateness. As a figurehead, Mr. Desha the Manager had certain social, ceremonial and legal responsibilities that the employees and students expected him to fulfill and here Mr. Desha was seen as a source of inspiration and authority to the school. Mr. Desha made sure that he monitored the routine concerning the new policy and how well the sections performed as far as morning lateness was concerned. He checked with the section leaders periodically to make sure they understood that maintaining discipline was the key feature to point out, as well as reminding them of the goal. Mr. Desha’s role as a leader required him to direct and manage the performance concerning the particular issue. He spent time communicating performance goals, supporting the employee efforts, evaluating the section performance and motivating the school in general toward a higher level of output as far as indiscipline is concerned.

In order to distribute the responsibilities Mr. Desha met with other teachers and he cordially asked them to contribute to reinforce discipline in the school environment and to help students to better understand the scenario of the new implemented policy. He even stopped and chatted with several students (mainly with class captains and prefects) throughout the days to get feedbacks. Here Mr. Desha the Page | 9

Manager is seen to communicate with most of the members of the institution as he acted as a liaison, and this networking activity had been a critical step in reaching the school new policy goals.

4.2 Application of Informational roles
As the week passed by Mr. Desha considered data from the office, he noticed a gradual reduction in the number of morning lateness among students. Mr. Desha was very pleased with the school’s understanding of the new policy and its goals. Since his implemented strategy started taking a shape, he then
thought of tacking a new related issue concerning indiscipline. After spending time in reflecting on the feedbacks and information from the staff and the students, Mr. Desha decided to start work on the next pertaining issue of absenteeism among student. The monitor role of Mr. Desha the Manager involved the task of researching, locating and choosing useful information. As a monitor, Mr. Desha had to stay well-informed to current scruples and changes occurring in the school environment before instigating a new extent.

Mr. Desha combined all of the information into a proposal for the next meeting with the section leaders and forwarded the information to the upper management (board of directors) for approval. Mr. Desha spent some time previewing the information with all the stakeholders of the school so that he could begin to disseminate the new issue of absenteeism. As a disseminator, Mr. Desha the Manager took the information he gathered as a monitor and forward it to the appropriate individuals. And when he got approval from the upper management, he generated an announcement for the school’s new initiating issue. Acting as a spokesperson on behalf of the organisation, Mr. Desha’s final informational role was to communicate information about the organisation to the inside and outside parties which involved parents.

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4.3 Application of Decisional roles
After a brief consultation of the data provided by the school’s office, Mr. Desha learned that moreover the same students were absenting school on a regular basis. He immediately took action and asked the clericals to inform the parents concerned and to inquire about their wards’ absence from school. He further requested to generate letters for an immediate meeting with the parents concerned. As an entrepreneur here, Mr. Desha the Manager focused on the process of improvement. He looked for ways to improve productivity and efficiency within the institution and he directed the change process from development to implementation.

During the meeting held, two parents started arguing over a matter which concerned their wards’ earlier fight at school. Other members present during the meeting witnessed the quarrel which created an atmosphere of embarrassment. Mr. Desha rapidly intervened and he helped to bring the parents into terms. Acting as a disturbance-handler, Mr. Desha here served as a conflict manager. He spent time taking corrective action during times of disagreements and this helped enormously to removing any barriers toward the organisational success.

After the meeting, Mr. Desha headed back to his office and on his arrival he learnt that one of the watchmen who were supposed to work the night shift called out for an urgent sick. As Mr. Desha needed to cover that shift, he instantly called and asks the watchmen presently on duty if one of them would mind working a double shift. He found a replacement and moved back to his daily responsibilities. Determining the best place for organisational resources to be distributed is what Mr. Desha does in his role as a resource-allocator. Taking the time planning, dispensing and monitoring resources was essential for Mr. Desha to ensure that his employees continued to be productive.

Mr. Desha ended his shift with a general meeting with the PTA members. During the roundtable, one of the members from the teaching staff of the science department initiated a project based on the implementation of solar panels for the production of electricity. As a costly initiative, Mr. Desha knew that he had to adhere to a set budget for this project, He therefore instructed the panel to gather valuable information concerning the topic and he made it a point that he will bring Page | 11

the proposal to the upper management. Since the government is providing incentives concerning this innovative project. The manager assured the PTA panel that he will spend some time negotiating with the distributor of some solar firms and he will try and come to a compromise in case the project is approved by the upper management. The negotiator role is the last of the decisional roles that Mr. Desha had to fill. As a negotiator, Mr. Desha acted as a representative for the team during times of negotiation, whereby
he looked out for the best interests of the party he represented.

Even though Mintzberg’s research was conducted many years ago, his discoveries of the ten managerial roles are still seen in business and even applied by managers in the educational field. Managers of all levels perform the roles described by Mintzberg on a daily basis at organisations worldwide. Many managers assess their own behaviors against those described by Mintzberg to become more self-aware of how they can improve their managerial practices.

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Mintzberg, H. (1973). The Nature of Managerial Work, Harper and Row Publishers, Ine.
Mintzberg, H., (1975). The Managers Job, Folklore and Fact. Harvard Business Review
Mintzberg, H.,( 1979). The Structuring of Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Mintzberg, H.,(1990) Inside our Strange World of Organizations. New York : Free Press ; London : Collier Macmillan
Mintzberg, H., (1994). The fall and rise of strategic planning. Harvard Business Review


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