Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

Interpersonal Roles – Types of Managerial Roles | Principles of Management

Interpersonal Roles

The role of a manager is a set of behaviors that are associated with the task of managing.
Using these roles, managers accomplish the basic functions of management just discussed: planning and strategizing, organizing, controlling, and leading and developing employees.
Mintzberg was one of the first and most enduring writers to describe the role of the manager.
He observed what managers did during the day by shadowing them. He grouped the roles into three categories: interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles.
Under this category Interpersonal roles include behaviors and responsibilities related to employee and stakeholder interactions.
The manager can accomplish organizational goals through these interactions. Both within and outside of their organizations, people spend a lot of time in interacting with each other.
They include peers, subordinates, superiors, suppliers, customers, government officials, and community leaders.
Understanding interpersonal relationships is an important aspect of all these interactions. According to studies, managers spend over 80 percent of their time interacting with people.
Among these interactions are three key interpersonal roles:



Managers fulfill social and legal obligations as symbolic figureheads.

Attending subordinates’ weddings or speaking at school and church functions are examples of duties such as greeting visitors, signing legal documents, taking important customers out for lunch, etc.

Those duties, mostly ceremonial in nature, are vital for the smooth functioning of the organization.

Managers are responsible for performing tasks related to social, symbolic, or legal matters.

As a representative of the organization, you do not make decisions. Figureheads are also responsible for motivating their teams to accomplish goals and tasks.

They are expected to inspire their teams. As a figurehead, you are respected as a person with authority.

As a manager, one of your duties will be to perform certain ceremonial duties, such as welcoming dignitaries, attending a wedding, taking an important client out to lunch, etc.

Example: As a figurehead, you are responsible for attending social lunches and events with clients. Promoting your company or team is part of your role, as well as projecting a positive, professional image.



Every manager’s job involves motivating and encouraging their employees.

Additionally, he must endeavor to reconcile their individual needs with the organization’s goals.

Leadership is ensuring the performance and responsibilities of your team, your department, or even your entire organization.

In his role as leader of the unit or organization, the manager exerts the most influence.

Being in charge of the activities of subordinates, he must motivate and lead them to meet task-related goals, as well as lead and coordinate their activities.

His subordinates must follow his directions and guidelines with respect and dedication by being an exemplary leader.

As a manager, you must oversee the performance of your staff. As a general rule, your objective is to manage the team and its members’ responsibilities in a manner that achieves your goals.

Among your duties as a manager, you will provide leadership, develop and motivate staff, and conduct evaluations.

Example: There may be a monthly sales goal that your team aims to meet. As a leader, you must communicate your expectations to your team members.

You would monitor their progress regularly during the month, and you might provide resources or delegate tasks to help them reach their goal.



The role of a manager as a liaison entails cultivating contacts outside his vertical chain of command to gather information that will benefit his organization.

Managers must maintain a network of outside contacts in addition to maintaining continuous contact with their subordinates, peers, and superiors to evaluate the external environment of competition, social changes, or changes in governmental rules, regulations, and laws.

A manager in this role creates their external information system.

A network of mutual commitments is also developed with other managers in the organization. Alliances are also formed to win support for proposals and decisions.

Developing a relationship with external sources of information can be achieved by attending meetings and conferences, making personal phone calls, reading trade journals, and cultivating informal contacts within outside agencies.

Creating and maintaining relationships on an internal and external level is part of the liaison role.

Your role is to connect different groups of people to ensure work runs smoothly.

You can act as a liaison to communicate knowledge or information among members of your organization’s chain of command and to ensure projects remain on schedule.

You may be able to bring members of your external network into your company to help achieve organizational goals more efficiently.

Example: Your role as a manager would require you to communicate regularly with your employees, as well as with your clients.

By listening to your clients, you can learn about their needs and relay that information to your employees.

With a clear understanding of the client’s expectations, you can ensure that they will fulfill those needs and deliver a successful outcome.

Interpersonal Roles Quiz /MCQs

Which of the following is an example of an interpersonal role?

a. Entrepreneur
b. Leader
c. Resource allocator

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The Correct Answer for the given question is option b. Leader


According to mintzberg, which of these is an interpersonal role?

A. spokesperson
B. leader
C. negotiator
D. monitor

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The Correct Answer for the given question is option b. Leader


Which of the following activities would be considered part of the interpersonal role of a manager?

A) Telling employees about the new restaurant policies related to childcare.
B) Initiating a change in the way purchasing is done in the organization.
C) Hiring and training staff.
D) Negotiating the union contract.

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The Correct Answer for the given question is option C) Hiring and training staff.


The role of liaison falls into which of mintzberg’s managerial classifications?

A) Decisional
B) Informational
C) Interpersonal
D) Symbolic
E) Leading

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The Correct Answer for the given question is option C) Interpersonal



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