Management roles and functions are vital for a company. Managers determine not only the direction of the company but also how the company is operated. We may hear titles such as president director, vice president, senior manager, and assistant manager. Basically, they are part of the management. However, they perform different roles and functions. They also hold different decision-making authorities and power.
In this article, we will discuss specifically the roles and functions of management according to Henry Mintzberg and Henri Fayol.
Why is management important for the company?
Management positions have various levels, ranging from upper and middle to lower levels. They carry out different roles and responsibilities. Likewise, the respective authorities also differ depending on the organizational setting. And they are all vital to the company. Without them, the company could lose its way.
Management defines goals, directs the organization, determines how to achieve them, manages resources, and executes plans and decisions. So, without them, people in the organization will be confused about where to go and what to do.
Another reason why management is vital is related to control. For example, management introduces several rules and policies. And everyone must comply. It allows everyone to act and stay aligned with company goals.
Then, without clear and effective management, the company will lose coordination between departments. Some jobs may overlap. And such problems will waste effort and resources.
What are the roles of management according to Henry Mintzberg?
Henry Mintzberg, a management expert, identifies ten general roles of managers. They are then grouped into three main roles:
- Interpersonal roles
- Informational role
- Decision role
Interpersonal roles deal with other people, both internal to the company and external to the company. Related to employees, this role, for example, requires managers to encourage or motivate them toward achieving goals.
Interpersonal roles include three general roles, namely:
Figurehead. Managers are responsible for official or symbolic duties, which reflect their status and authority in the organization.
Leader. This role is related to coordinating and directing the team. Managers provide direction to the team, monitor their performance, and provide training when needed. In addition, this role also requires managers to inspire, encourage, and build morale among subordinates.
Liaison. This role is related to interpersonal relationships with external parties outside the team. For example, managers must build partnerships with various departments within the organization or with business stakeholders such as governments, suppliers, or buyers.
Managers play a role in the flow of information, whether as a source, receiver, or transmitter. Mintzberg breaks down these roles into three general roles:
Monitor. Managers are responsible for gathering information to support the company in achieving its goals. For example, it might involve them examining the environment to gather information, whether related to external opportunities-threats or the strengths-weaknesses of the organization. Relevant data becomes an important input in the strategic management process to help companies achieve sustainable competitive advantage.
Disseminator. This role is about communicating useful and relevant information to subordinates. Some information may be important to share with a few subordinates. Others may be shared with all subordinates to invite feedback or new ideas. This role is important in maintaining open communication between managers and their subordinates.
Spokesperson. This role is related to communication with external stakeholders outside the team. Managers, for example, represent the business when dealing with governments, suppliers, distributors, or labor unions. They convey important information to these parties.
This role is related to decision-making in business. Managers are involved in decisions about new initiatives or ideas to implement. In addition, decisions about handling disturbances and resource allocation are also their responsibility. Specifically, Mintzberg identified four roles for managers for various types of decisions in organizations, including:
- Disturbance handler
- Resource allocator
Entrepreneur. This role deals with decisions about new initiatives or ideas to be implemented to improve company performance. Taking the initiative is part of a managerial task. Managers may discover it on their own or explore it with their subordinates through discussion and feedback. For example, marketing managers are required to continuously explore ideas about new products or ways to keep existing customers loyal.
Disturbance handler. The manager makes sure all activities run smoothly. If there are disturbances, both from internal and external factors, they must take corrective steps. For example, this role requires them to resolve conflicts, whether between individuals or departments. In other cases, managers need to make decisions about improvements to their work area, such as addressing skill gaps in the team.
Resource allocator. In one case, this role is related to allocating existing resources effectively and efficiently to support organizational goals. For example, they make decisions about who gets what resources. In other cases, managers may have to make decisions about acquiring new resources, such as new staff, to ensure their work area is effective and efficient.
Negotiator. This role is related to discussions to reach an agreement with the team or other stakeholders. For example, a manager may engage in negotiations to reach an agreement with another employee or department. Managers also make decisions about external stakeholders such as suppliers and customers to reach agreements that benefit both parties.
What are the functions of management according to Henri Fayol?
According to Henri Fayol, management has five main functions: planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling.
Planning involves setting and developing plans and programs to achieve those goals. First, managers think ahead about what the company should achieve and what the company will become in the future. They then set targets, strategies, and tactics to execute. They also evaluate the required resources, allocate them and acquire new ones if necessary.
Organizing involves organizing and allocating company resources to become a structured unit. It includes assigning tasks, structuring activities, operating processes, and personnel to carry out defined strategies and programs to achieve goals. Included in this case are managing authority, giving instructions, and delegating tasks. This function is important because it affects the effectiveness and efficiency of utilizing resources.
Coordinating is about ensuring synergies are achieved between elements within the company. Thus, everyone cooperates with each other toward the goals set. Likewise, departments also cooperate and support each other.
For example, the marketing department identifies a market opportunity for a new product. Then, they coordinate with the research and development department to design products according to market tastes. Finally, when a product is released, they also work with the production department to determine how much to produce.
Commanding deals with guiding, leading, and supervising employees, ensuring they carry out their duties and do the work to achieve the set targets. This function is not just about assigning employees to specific jobs and giving instructions. However, this function is also related to delegating and giving authority, such as in decision-making.
Controlling is measuring and evaluating the work or resources used to ensure they are achieving their targets or conforming. For example, in one case, managers assessed employees annually to evaluate their performance. In other cases, managers monitor and evaluate how resources – such as raw materials – are used and whether they are fit for purpose. Such assessment and evaluation are important to minimize deviation or waste and ensure the organization is moving towards the set goals. This function also requires managers to take corrective action if necessary.