Who Is a Manager? Managerial Roles, Skills, Qualities

  • Post last modified:12 May 2022
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Who Is a Manager?

In an organisation, a manager is a person who directs the efforts of others. He/she is also responsible for managing resources and making their optimum utilisation. A manager is the one who performs all the basic functions of management, namely planning, organising, directing and controlling.

Apart from these functions, a few other duties may also be bestowed upon managers such as the following:

  • Leading
  • Disseminating information and allocating resources
  • Managing conflicts and carrying out negotiations
  • Taking initiatives and making organisational changes
  • Embracing organisational culture and promoting innovativeness
  • Motivating people toward change
  • Fulfilling social obligations and adhering to corporate governance guidelines

The most important responsibility of a manger is to encourage employees for performing well and contributing in the achievement of organisational goals and objectives. It is also an essential duty of managers to work honestly and carry out the required activities for achieving organisational goals and objectives.


Managerial Roles

Managers need to perform various roles to achieve organisational goals. Henry Mintzberg conducted a research study and laid down ten roles that are played by a manager. These ten roles have been categorised into three groups as shown in Figure:

Let us now understand these roles of a manager in detail:

Figurehead role

As a representative or head of an organisation, a manager performs symbolic duties, such as making speeches, welcoming visitors, holding meetings with clients, distributing prizes to the best performing employees, honouring retiring employees, and so on.

Liaison role

A manager is responsible for communicating and maintaining harmonious relationships with external parties, such as governments, other organisations, industry groups, etc. Apart from that, internally, a manager needs to coordinate with different departments of the organisation.

Leadership role

In the role of a leader, the most important duty of a manager is to motivate and encourage employees for performing well and aligning their goals with organisational goals.

Monitor role

A manager needs to constantly keep scanning his formal and informal network of contacts in order to collect useful information for the organisation.

Disseminator role

A manager is responsible for sharing useful information with the members of the organisations; for example, sharing his learning and experiences with the members after at- tending a business conference.

Spokesperson role

Every manager speaks on behalf of his/her organisation with various external individuals and agencies, such as government officers, bankers, customers, public representatives, etc.

Entrepreneurial role

A manager acts as a change agent and encourages people to embrace change. He/she constantly keeps an eye on market conditions and lookout for new business opportunities.

Disturbance-handler role

A manager needs to handle and provide solutions for various difficult situations, such as union strikes, customer bankruptcy and contract violations

Resource allocator role

A manager decides what work will be done by whom and how much resources will be allocated to each employee. Apart from that, he/she approves budgets and decides priorities.

Negotiator role

Every manager, irrespective of his level of management, carries out different types of negotiations. For instance, a vice president may negotiate a multi-million deal with government agencies and a supervisor may negotiate upon the quantum of work output.


Managerial Skills

Skills refer to the abilities of an individual which enable him/her to do some specific kind of work. The skills may be inborn or can be developed by practice. For instance, imagination skills, leadership skills, etc., are inborn skills, whereas critical thinking and problem-solving skills can be developed by individuals through learning and practice.

There are three types of skills that are critical for a manager are as follows:

Conceptual skills

Conceptual skills relate to a manager’s ability to envision a broad and detailed view of an organisation and its elements and coordinate and integrate organisational activities. ‰

Human relations skills

Human relations skills include all the skills related to effective management of human resources in an organisation. These include ability to work with others, understand their concerns and motivate them.

Technical skills

Technical skills are related to the knowledge and expertise of an individual related to a specific field. For instance, accountants have skills to operate software, such as Xero, Tally and Wave Accounting.


Qualities of an Effective Manager

Multiple managers may work in the same organisation, but still there are managers who are liked or disliked by employers and employees. In each manager, there are certain positive as well as negative qualities. How effective a manager is and how much work he is able to get done through others depends on his/her positive qualities.

Some of the most important qualities of an effective manager are as follows:

  • Provides clear directions

  • Works honestly and remains accountable

  • Exhibits excellent decision-making abilities and emotional intelligence

  • Works with a positive approach

  • Ensures that he/she is approachable

  • Demonstrates caring attitude

  • Handles conflicts patiently

  • Works with flexibility and shows empathy towards others

  • Maintains integrity and gains trust of others

  • Possesses good communication skills and has passion for work and success

  • Demonstrates great listening skills and engages in excellent planning and forecasting

  • Organises people, processes and resources, and maintains control

  • Delegates tasks

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