Introduction The theory our group will be discussing and explaining in depth is the leadership styles of top management using Mintzberg’s managerial roles. Mintzerg named ten different roles, all separated into three categories. The first category is interpersonal. This includes figurehead, leader, and liason. The second category is informational which includes monitor, disseminator, and spokesperson. The last category is decisional which includes entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator.
These roles are all used in the leadership styles of top management and we will find throughout research which roles are most frequently used and which seem to be the most effective. We have selected five companies in which we will research and in turn, be able to apply Mintzberg’s roles to each company individually. Our company selection includes Nokia, Walt Disney, Apple, Microsoft, and city utilities. We look forward to researching these companies and finding exactly which roles are most important to each company specifically, as well as comparatively.
Theoretical Identification Mintzberg’s managerial roles are categorized into ten different roles, separated into three categories. The liaison role is under the category interpersonal roles, and it focuses on the manager’s interpersonal work with people that are not a part of his/her own organization. It describes the information and communication that is obligated by a manager, for example that the manager must create networks and engage in information exchange via trade shows, joining boards of directors to gain access to more knowledge.
A successful liaison would be networking with the right amount of people in the right circles so that they also would be either a step ahead of their competitors, or at least up to date with the right knowledge. The monitor role is under informational roles, and it focuses on regularly seeking information related to the organization and industry to look for changes that are relevant to the companies’ environment. This is important to the company and to its employees who value being able to adapt to changes that happen in their environment as well.
It is also the monitor’s role to be the one to monitor the team in terms of productivity and the team’s well -being to make sure that they always have productive and satisfied employees. Figurehead is considered a symbol, but is required to perform a number of routine duties of a legal or social nature. The figurehead is not always considered a decision maker within a company. Steve Jobs was a perfect example of someone who made business decision, but he was also considered someone that represented the company socially.
The other form of figurehead could be Ronald McDonald representing McDonalds, but he has no authority in business decisions. Figureheads are important in helping sell the brand as well as creating a positive image. Figurehead performs ceremonial and symbolic duties. Figureheads are crucial in a company for the brand name, and how they can help build a company. Leader is responsible for the motivation and direction of employees. Every company will have leaders throughout all levels of the company. You will have someone at upper level, middle level and lower level management.
Upper level management has someone leading sometimes through board of directors or CEO. Middle Management has a manager in charge of lower level. A leader cannot be taught, but it is a person who has always been a natural born leader. Leaders will direct and motivate subordinates, train, advice and influence. These tasks are crucial in keeping the company flowing smoothly and keeping the product moving out the door. Leaders are crucial in deciding tasks to elevate the company. They are making decisions that the everyday employee has no control over.
The disseminator and spokesperson roles, classified under the informational category, are closely related. The disseminator role refers to the manager who takes information received from outsiders or employees, and shares it with upper level members of the organization. The spokesperson role takes information from inside the organization and relates it to the public. Good disseminators and spokespersons need to have good communication skills in order to interact with company heads as well as the public.
A successful spokesperson needs to be able to speak during conferences with confidence and also be able to maintain a consistent relationship with the media. If a manager is both a spokesperson and disseminator, they are excellent in communicating both inside and outside of the company. The decisional category includes four roles: entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator. The entrepreneur role is one in which managers take initiative and seek out opportunities that will both benefit the organization as well as create innovation. These managers work on major rojects and are proactive in accomplishing goals as well as bettering the organization. The disturbance handler role refers to managers who are responsible in taking action when problems or disturbances occur. Every organization faces conflict, most of which are sudden and unexpected. The disturbance handler steps in to handle this conflict and attempts to resolve and correct the problem so that the organization can continue successfully. Organizations Identification/ Introduction and Descriptions Disney The Disney Company was founded by its namesake Walt Disney on October 16, 1923.
In 1923, Walt Disney left his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri on his way to California with a cartoon of a little girl in a cartoon world called Alice’s Wonderland (Disney). Disney decided to use his cartoon to make some Alice Comedies which first made him successful with his brother, Roy. The Disney Company’s original name in 1923 was Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio which then changed to Walt Disney Studios at the request of Disney’s brother (Disney). After a few years Disney decided to transition to an all cartoon show Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and he made his first business mistake.
When he went to his distributor for more money for a second season of the cartoon he realized the distributor sold the rights to a studio who made the cartoons for a cheaper price and that upon further review of his contract he did not own the rights to Oswald the distributor did. However, this was probably a great error because right after this incident Disney created Mickey Mouse, the figurehead for the Disney Company. According to Mintzberg’s managerial role not only is Mickey the figurehead of Disney but so is Walt Disney himself.
The Disney Company has expanded greatly over the last 80 years since the company was started by Walt Disney and his brother. The company has moved from cartoons to feature films, amusement parks, merchandise and even Broadway. Walt Disney died December 15, 1966 and the company continued with his brother Roy who followed plans Disney left behind (Disney). Once again the Disney Company was not satisfied with its success and decided they should make another theme park on the east coast called Disney World, which opened October 1, 1971. Roy Disney who ran Disney after the death of his rother died in 1971, the company was run for the next decade by people trained by the Disney brothers. The community of tomorrow or EPCOT was one of Disney’s last ideas and it was realized in the larger Disney World Park. The now CEO, Robert Iger, showed that he had what it takes to lead such an innovative company. He became the Disney Company CEO in 2005 and after that the companies stock jumped 42% (Steptoe). In 2007, he increased the fiscal profits almost 80% over the previous year to 2. 63 billion dollars (Steptoe). Disney is one of the most innovated and widely diverse companies around the world.
Toyota Toyota joined the automobile industry in 1936 based out of Japan. Toyota has always been a top tier automobile company that has top of the line manufacturing. Toyota will continue to stay top of the line in automobiles with cars such as the Hybrid. The Hybrid has revolutionized the automobile industry to new heights, and that is owed to the management team who has had their struggles. It was large news not too long ago about Toyota recalling several cars, because the accelerator was sticking. The severity cannot be explained in this paper for people involved with this scenario.
Mintzberg’s managerial roles might not be the direct idea companies are using, but they are being used by everyone in certain situations. Mintzberg has ten managerial roles divided into three categories of informational, interpersonal and decisional. The crisis Toyota dealt with for the last several years heavily involved the category, decisional. The start was with interpersonal and the leaders to make a decision to go public with their apology. It does not make the public happy for the current situation, but it lets the public no Toyota realizes they made a mistake.
The leader also had to make some large cuts within the company to show they realized the mistake. The leader also had to motivate employees, so they did not have another lapse that would ruin Toyota. The decisional aspects consume of disturbance handler, resource allocator and negotiator. The negotiator had to deal with all the complaints, and they had to negotiate all the lawsuits aimed at Toyota. The negotiator did pretty well by taking a small hit in the large scheme of the company. They were able to find settlements for over half the cases dealing with the incidents.
It took years to uncover a lot of these settlements, but Toyota was willing to take that hit to rebuild the brand name to its original strength. The other two decisional roles are disturbance handler and resource allocator. The disturbance handler is someone who takes corrective action in a crisis and solves problems at hand. This could have been the ending result of Toyota with so many lives in jeopardy, but this person dealt with the problem by confronting it head on. They took the approach of no excuses, and making it publicly none of the problem and recalling the vehicles.
It was going to take a hit for taking blame in such large failure of automobiles, but it would save their image in the long run. The resource allocator was in charge of dealing with the issues inside the vehicle to make sure no problem occurs like this again. Toyota continues to bounce back by having top of the line vehicles with minimal complaints. The resource allocator has seemed to done their job in fixing the problem with newly acquired resources. Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington.
The company develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of products and services that’s related to electronics and software. Microsoft is also one of the world’s most valuable companies. As of 2012, Microsoft is a market dominant in both the PC operating system and office suite markets. It was founded on April 4, 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Paul Allen was born in Seattle, Washington, Allen attended Lakeside School, a private school in Seattle, and befriended Bill Gates, who was almost three years younger and shared a common enthusiasm for computers. Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. nd Mary Maxwell Gates. Gates father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973. Gates joined Paul Allen at Honeywell during the summer of 1974. The following year they saw the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company. Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time and that was the start of Microsoft Corporation.
Bill Gates management style was very different. Gates’s role at Microsoft for most of its history was primarily a management and executive role. From Microsoft’s founding in 1975 until 2006; Gates had primary responsibility for the company’s product strategy. He aggressively broadened the company’s range of products, and wherever Microsoft achieved a dominant position he vigorously defended it. He gained a reputation for being distant to others; as early as 1981 an industry executive complained in public that “Gates is notorious for not being reachable by phone and for not returning phone calls. As an executive, Gates met regularly with Microsoft’s senior managers and program managers. Accounts of these meetings described him as verbally combative and they were worried about the long term agreement with the company because of the way Bill Gates operated things, he was for example very known for the way he would interrupt presentations and be rude and harsh. Gates’s role at Microsoft for most of its history was primarily a management and executive role. Microsoft has a top 12 over their management style which is: Total World Domination The Top Five Percent
Microsoft rigorously attempts to hire only the smartest people, those who are within the smartest 5% of the total population. Bet the Company Winning in the game of business is about being willing to make bets at good odds. Require Failure At most companies, to succeed is good, but to fail is unacceptable. This type of policy means that, as a risk/reward scenario, the risk of failure vastly exceeds the reward of success. Managers Are Qualified At Microsoft, the most important qualification for a manager is expertise in the functional area over which (s)he is managing Perform, Perform, Perform
Performance is all that matters at Microsoft, so much so that excuses are flat-out irrelevant “Shrimp vs. Weenies” Even with its billions upon billions in cash, Microsoft is as frugal as Ebeneezer Scrooge. It’s a company that buys canned weenies for food, not shrimp. Commander Steve Ballmer flew coach. (For scheduling Size Does Matter Bill is Watching Esprit de Corps Again alluding to Microsoft being less like a big company than it appears, Thielen asserts that Microsoft has esprit de corps like that of a start-up where everyone involved is focused on a common goal.
Stop the Insanity The plague of most big companies is bureaucracy and stupid rules. Home Away From Home Microsoft has a simple way of maximizing its employees’ productivity: It allows each individual’s office to be as individualized as one desires. Nokia Nokia was founded in 1865 by a man named Fredrik Idestam. He set up two paper mills on the banks of rivers in Finland, the second one on the Nokianvirta River. This is where he came up with the name we all know, Nokia. It is ironic that Nokia began by making paper, one of the most important communication tools in history.
The first step Nokia took towards the technology industry was in 1912 when Arvid Wickstrom set up Finnish Cable Works. They worked closely with Nokia and in 1962 they created their first electronic device, a pulse analyzer for nuclear power plants. In 1963 Nokia started developing products for the army and shortly after became the biggest computer brand in Finland and the third largest TV manufacturer in Europe. Throughout Nokia’s history there is a trend of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking from its managers.
In 1991, the Finnish Prime Minister made the world’s first GSM phone call using a Nokia device. The Nokia President and CEO at the time, Jorma Ollila, decided to focus exclusively on manufacturing mobile phones and telecommunication. This marks the beginning of the Nokia Company that we all know to date. With its aggressive grown strategy and focus on mobile communication Nokia quickly became the largest mobile communications company in the world. More recently, Nokia has been making many changes due to the increase in competitors in the smart phone market.
Fresh blood was brought into management when Stephen Elop was appointed the new President and CEO. He has a history of being a top decisional manager according to Mintzberg’s managerial roles. His job is to keep up with the changing industry and stay competitive in the smartphone market that has been dominated by apple in recent years. In the few years that Elop has been CEO he has made further changes to the management team of the organization. A new vice president of operations has been appointed along with new vice presidents of sales & marketing, mobile phones, and communications.
Elop is clearly taking action to make up some of the market share lost to apple in the past years. Apple Apple, a multinational and billion dollar company, was founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. It was incorporated January 3, 1977 without Wayne, who sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak. Apple is best known for the Mac line of computers, the iPod, the iPad, and the iPhone. It is the world’s largest mobile phone maker after Samsung and Nokia and was named the most admired company in the United States in 2008 and in the world from 2008 to 2012.
The Apple market cap is larger than that of Google and Microsoft combined and its worldwide revenue totaled $156 billion in 2012. Apple uses Mintzberg’s managerial roles throughout its corporation to function on a daily basis. Application and Analysis/ Relationships and Inconsistencies Apple While there are many similarities as well as inconsistencies between Apple and Mintzberg’s managerial roles, I find there to be mostly positive relationships between this organization and our topic. The strongest role that Apple focuses on is the leadership role.
Mintzberg described leading as motivation, direction, and communication from managers to their employees in an effective manner. Steve Jobs was the soul of Apple and his leadership skills and qualities lead this company to extreme success. He was an innovator who focused not only on the needs of the stakeholders, but also on how the organization could reinvent or create new products, markets, customers, and services. Job’s leadership skills followed Mintzberg’s definition of leadership precisely.
Along with the similarities of Apple and our topic come inconsistencies. The main inconsistency I found was Apples ability to use Mintzberg’s disturbance handler role effectively. Mintzberg describes this role as the one to take corrective action when the organization faces important, yet unexpected disturbances. Apple has faced many challenges and crossroads in its past and many of these were not solved in the best of manners. A stronger decisional role, such as the disturbance handler, may have made such challenges easier to handle.
Mintzberg’s managerial roles are important and used within all organizations and relationships, both positive and negative, are present. Disney The Disney Company is most well known for its figurehead Mickey Mouse an important role according to Mintzberg. Disney utilizes the figurehead role in a positive way to influence the company and the fans. The Disney Company continued to gain in success after the creation of Mickey Mouse when they realized that they could make more money by selling Mickey merchandise. Then they moved on the first Mickey book and comic strip.
In 1934, Disney decided to break into the animated feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Snow White was a huge success and was the highest grossing film of all time until it was surpassed by Gone with the Wind (Disney). Walt Disney knew that his cartoons were successful but the future of his company was in the feature films where he continued to be successful but eventually wanted to expand his company again. This time he moved to amusement parks and Disneyland was opened on July 17, 1955, which fans later called theme parks (Disney).
In the 1950’s Disney came out with movies like 20,000 Leagues Under the sea and perhaps the finest culmination of his career Mary Poppins (Disney). According to Mintzberg’s roles, Disney was a great leader by not only running a successful company but by influencing the grand expansion of his company from cartoons to films, amusement parks, and even Broadway. He also knew how to inspire and teach his young proteges how to be good leaders and entrepreneurs. After Disney’s death, the new group of leaders decided to keep the Disney expansion going by building a Disney theme park in Tokyo, the first international theme park.
In the 1980’s the new management team began the realization of Disney’s own cable network, The Disney Channel. Over the next twenty years Disney expanded their movie, television, and theme park networks. In 1994, Disney moved to Broadway with their production of Beauty and the Beast (Disney). In 2005, Robert Iger became the CEO of Disney and he is still the CEO today. Many people were skeptical because Iger was a weatherman who had worked himself up the ranks and was now the leader of a large company (Steptoe).
However, Iger showed that he could be a great leader like Walt Disney and it was Iger who changed Disney into a technologically savvy company. Iger proved his business smarts by meeting with Steve Jobs the Apple and Pixar chief executive and Disney bought Pixar in 2006 for $7. 4 billion (Steptoe). Robert Iger uses Mintzberg’s role of negotiator in a positive way by making a deal with Steve Jobs for Pixar which really helped expand Disney’s company and increase their profits. Iger uses a laid back management style different from his predecessor and encourages the senior executives to entrepreneurial.
The hardest roles of Mintzberg’s to see if they are being utilized by Disney are the informational ones, monitor and disseminator because it is hard to tell if Iger is good at the interoffice communication. Disney has been a thriving company for almost 80 years, starting with cartoons and blossoming into a company with diverse roots in television, movies, theme parks, and Broadway. The Disney Company utilizes the entrepreneur role positively throughout the company’s history from Walt Disney all the way to the leaders of the company today.
Implications and Conclusions The concept of Mintzberg’s managerial roles is one that is used throughout every organization on a daily basis. The roles that Mintzberg describe are crucial to the success of any organization and they directly relate to the real world. These roles, although unique in their own, come together to form a single working unit that creates effective and productive employees. Without the knowledge of Mintzberg’s managerial roles, organizations will struggle to understand how to work together as well as how to form a useful system for success.
While learning about Mintzberg’s managerial roles, our group retained information that will further help our understanding when working in an organization. We studied three important categories: interpersonal, informational, and decisional. It is important to be able to distinguish the differences in these categories and to be able to see the significance of each. Each individual role plays an important part in the success of an organization. The more organizations focus on these roles and allocate them to their employees, the more successful and organized they will be.
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