Roles of the manager

Roles of the manager

The tasks and postures of the manager

  • Discover the ten roles of the manager according to Mintzberg.
  • Identify the main tasks of a manager.
  • Identify the posture and qualities needed as a manager.


A manager has many roles. Henry Mintzberg, a Canadian academic in management sciences and author of numerous works on management born in 1939, divides these roles into three levels:

  • Information
  • People
  • Action

This paper describes the ten roles identified by Mintzberg on these three levels, and gives an overview of current managerial trends.

H Mintzberg has broken down the work of a manager into 10 roles on these three levels.

1. At the information level

Active observer

Having a liaison role allows the manager to have much more information than his team. Information seeking is one of the keys to being a manager. In the role of active observer, the manager constantly scans his or her surroundings for information.

Disseminator of information

Through his position, his network and his activity as an active observer, the manager has access to a great deal of information which he disseminates in return to his teams, his network or his relations, depending on the circumstances.


The manager also has a role as an "official" spokesperson in charge of communication, both externally as a spokesperson for his or her teams, and internally as a spokesperson for the hierarchy.

2. At the individual level


The manager is linked to the symbol embodied by the "leader". By virtue of his or her position, he or she represents his or her team or department to the outside world, and the hierarchical power to his or her team.


The manager :

  • develops a vision (where we are going, how we are going).
  • sets the rules.
  • motivates the team.
  • develops the team's efficiency.

Liaison officer

The manager is constantly looking for information that could be useful to him, so he spends a lot of time building a network around him. According to Mintzberg's study, managers spend much more time with their peers and others outside their organisation than with their own subordinates or hierarchy.


It is through his or her role as an entrepreneur that the manager will build the projects for the institution in which he or she works.

Resource allocator

The manager allocates the various activities required of him/her and sets up the appropriate organisation:

  • Define the skills required.
  • Decide on the use of the resources assigned to him/her.
  • Assign responsibilities.

Regulator / Disruption Manager

The role that can quickly become the most time-consuming is to manage multiple disruptions.

  • Unexpected events.
  • Conflicts.
  • People problems.


The manager spends much of his time negotiating. This is an integral part of their role because they are the only ones who have all the information about their organisation, and especially about its resources.


To develop my role as an active observer

Learn how to select sources, search for and organise relevant information, learn how to qualify the value of information.

To develop my role as an information disseminator

Develop your skills in mastering information-sharing tools and the quality of written communication.

To develop my role as a spokesperson

Develop your ability to prepare and make successful presentations in front of an audience, your oratory skills.

To develop my role as a symbol

Take care of your image internally and externally to be consistent with your status.  And particularly your reputation. You must inspire the respect expected...

To develop my role as a leader

Leadership must be worked on. Develop your change management skills, cultivate listening skills, empathy, the use of emotional intelligence, enthusiasm...

To develop my role as a liaison officer

Develop your skills in managing networks of contacts.

To develop my role as an Entrepreneur

It is your responsibility to master creativity techniques, use problem solving methods, manage change, develop a business plan, implement an action plan.

To develop my role as a Resource Allocator

Develop your management skills

To develop my role as a Regulator

It is your responsibility to master creativity techniques, use problem solving methods, manage conflicts, develop a business plan, implement an action plan.

To develop my role as a Negotiator

Develop your skills to prepare and conduct a negotiation


  1. Observe for a week in your daily life as a manager which of these roles you play perfectly, which ones you find more difficult and perhaps which ones are currently missing from your repertoire.
  2. Ask yourself which roles are currently more necessary for your team/organisation?
  3. What actions do you decide to take?