Mintzberg's observations and research indicate that diverse manager activities can be organized into ten roles. For an important starting point, all ten rules are vested with formal authority over an organizational unit. From formal authority comes status, which leads to various interpersonal relations, and from these comes access to information, which, in turn, enables the manager to make decisions and strategies.
The ten roles are divided into three categories: interpersonal, informational, and decisional.
Three of the managers's roles involve basic interpersonal relationships:
* The figurehead role. Every manager must perform some duties of a ceremonial nature (e.g., the president greets the touring dignitaries, the sales manager takes an important customer to lunch). These activities are important to the smooth functioning of an organization.
* The leader role. This role involves leadership directly (e.g., the manager is responsible for hiring an training his own staff). The leader role encompasses relationships with subordinates, including motivation, communication, and influence.
* The liaison role, in which the manager makes contacts inside and outside the organization with a wide range of people: subordinates, clients, business associates, government, trade organization officials, and so on.