Notes on Managerial Roles

Professor Alan Belasen has recently published several articles that describe the managerial role within the organization. His research supports the work of Quinn, R.E., Faerman, S. R., Thompson, M. P., and McGrath, M. R., (1996) "Becoming a Master Manager: A Competency Framework", Wiley NY. NY. From Professor Belasen's most recent work (Leading the Learning Organization Communication and Competencies for Managing Change, SUNY Press, Albany NY 1998)), he has identified the characteristics of the eight managerial roles: Producer; Director; Mentor; Facilitator; Coordinator Monitor; Innovator; and Broker.

Table 1: Rational Goal Model: Similarities and Differences in Motivating Others and Goal Setting

Producer

Director

All Managerial Levels: Makes important work decisions and effort. Motivates others.

All Managerial Levels: Maintains a high level of energy, motivation. Sets goals. Sets objectives for accomplishing goals. Defines roles and expectations for employees.

First Level: Focuses on results and accomplishments. Gets others to excel in their work. Uses time and stress management strategies to handle delays and interruptions.

First Level: Assigns priorities among multiple goals.

Middle-Level: Creates high performance expectation in others. Focuses on results and accomplishments. In motivating employees, considers their individual differences.

Middle-Level: Garners support for goals from managers at lower levels.

Upper-Level: Creates high performance expectations in others. In motivating employees, considers their individual differences. Gets others to excel in their work.

Upper-Level: Establishes context for decision making at lower levels.

 

Table 2. Internal Process Model: Similarities and Differences in Controlling the Work and Tracking Details

Coordinator

Monitor

All Managerial Levels: Ensures that work is going according to schedule.
Reallocates resources to accommodate. Coordinates tasks and people.

All Managerial Levels: Disseminates information regarding policies and procedures
Relies on reports from others. Assures flow of information among necessary personnel and units.
Sets up and maintains necessary communication channels.

First Level: Anticipates work-flow problems. Plans workload adjustments as needed.

First Level: Oversees compliance with procedures.

Middle-Level: Anticipates work-flow problems. Schedules work-flow of tasks and projects.

Middle-Level: Interprets financial and statistical reports.

Upper-Level: Determines subordinate's assignments based on individual skills and abilities.
Coordinates units as well as individual employees.

Upper-Level:Carefully reviews the work of others.

 

Table 3. Human Relations Model: Similarities and Differences in Dealing with Employees' Problems and Enhancing Employee Participation

Mentor

Facilitator

All Managerial Levels: Gives credit to subordinates for their work. Maintains an open, approachable and understanding attitude towards subordinates.
Takes a personal interest in employees.

All Managerial Levels: Works to enhance employee participation and ideas. Creates a cohesive work climate in the organization. Creates a sense of belonging to the organization.

First Level: Helps employees work toward and prepare for promotion. Does on-the-job training.

First Level: Fosters a sense of team work among employees. Facilitates and leads meetings.

Middle-Level: Does on-the-job training. Creates opportunities for lower level managers to challenge themselves.

Middle-Level: Fosters a sense of team work among employees. Involves subordinates in discussion over work matters.

Upper-Level: Advises lower level managers on how to handle difficult employee situations. Creates opportunities for lower level managers to challenge themselves.

Upper-Level: Involves subordinates in discussions over work matters. Facilitates and leads meetings.

 

Table 4. Open Systems Model: Similarities and Differences in Managing Change and Negotiation Skills

Innovator

Broker

All Managerial Levels: Supports changes imposed on organization even when disagreeing with the changes.

All Managerial Levels: Nurtures contacts with people external to the organization. Builds coalitions and networks among peers. Represents the unit to clients and customers.

First-Level: Turns problems into opportunities. Encourages creativity among employees. Helps employees deal with ambiguity and delay. Helps subordinates see the positive aspects of new changes.

First-Level: Interacts with people outside the organization. Presents ideas to managers at higher levels.

Middle-Level: Turns problems into opportunities. Helps employees deal with ambiguity and delay. Assesses the potential impact of proposed changes. Comes up with ideas for improving the organization.

Middle-Level: Represents the unit to others in the organization.

Upper-Level: Assesses the potential impact of proposed changes. Encourages creativity among employees. Personally helps individual employees adjust to changes in the organization. Helps subordinates see the positive aspects of new changes.

Upper-Level: Represents the unit to others in the organization. Exerts lateral and upward influence in the organization.

In some cases, you will see differences between the levels of the managers, with similarities between levels noted as "all levels". " Managers at all levels appear to share similar concerns and have similar understandings of the importance of all managerial leadership roles, with the exception of the Coordinator and Monitor roles, which appeared to be less important for upper-level management. The Rational Goal Model shows a greater alignment with characteristics that make up the Director role, such as making important decisions and setting goals. Within the Internal Processes Model, there appears to be greater consistency among all hierarchical levels regarding the responsibilities manifested in the behaviors of managers performing the Monitor role (i.e., disseminating information and assuring flow of information across the business unit). Consistent views are apparent regarding the characteristics of the Mentor and Facilitator roles in the Human Relations Model (i.e., give credit to subordinates for work and ideas, and work to enhance employee participation). Similarly, in the Open Systems Model, the Broker and the Innovator roles appeared to be quite important for the performance of managers across all management levels." (Belasen,1998 ).

When you are making your decisions during the simulation, you should think about the role that you are taking as a marketing manager; product line manager; or communications manager. In your individual rationale statements note the role that you believe best fist the types of decisions that you made, and the role that you took within your group to set the final budget for the group. I believe that during the course of the module, that you may assume different roles based on the types of decisions that you will be making and the group dynamics that will be typical of your "firm" (in this case your team). Within organizations, the culture of the organization and the responsibilities of the individual will often dictate the role that the manager will assume. For example, in a centralized organization, the marketing manager may assume the role of director for the marketing programs implemented by the various product line managers, while at the same time act as a broker between the marketing department and the other functional groups within the organization. In a decentralized organization, the same marketing manager may assume the role of facilitator between the product-line managers. In the centralized organization, the product line managers may assume the role of facilitator for the implementation of the programs associated with his/her product line. In a decentralized organization, this individuals’ role may become more of an innovator, taking control of the direction of the programs. Many organizational behavior texts refer the latter role, to that of being a "champion".