Copyright

Interpersonal Roles in Management: Types, Definition & Quiz

  • Lesson
  • Quiz
  • Like?
Taught by

Jennifer Wiley-Cordone

In this lesson, we'll look specifically at the three interpersonal management roles and consider how you might respond when working within each of these roles.

We also recommend watching Management Roles and Principles and Productivity, Quality, Profitability and the Role of Managers

Interpersonal Managerial Roles in Context

If you've ever had responsibility for managing a project of any size, you'll remember several different skills you needed in order to accomplish your goals. Even if you aren't yet familiar with professor and author Henry Mintzberg's observation-based research of CEOs, you'll most likely recognize the ten different roles relevant to all managers. He has organized the roles into three categories:

Managerial roles
Managerial roles

  • Informational management roles are divided into three different communication-based roles.
  • Decisional management roles are sorted into four action-based roles for making and implementing decisions.
  • Interpersonal management roles are grouped into three roles involving working with other people.

Thinking about taking on ten different roles may be daunting, but after this lesson you'll have the precise vocabulary to describe how an effective manager uses the three interpersonal management roles of figurehead, leader, and liaison.

The Figurehead Managerial Role

Have you ever seen a mayor scooping a handful of dirt with a golden shovel at a ground-breaking ceremony? In that scene, the mayor is a figurehead conducting social, ceremonial, and legal responsibilities. A figurehead also provides inspiration by sharing the mission and vision of the organization and symbolizing authority.

The British Royal Family (photo by Ben_in_London)
British Royal Family

Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith and the other members of the British Royal Family are highly recognizable figureheads.

On a less grand scale, if you are a department head giving a motivational speech at a quarterly sales meeting, you are acting as a figurehead. The term 'figurehead' is frequently used to describe a powerless person who represents an organization without having real authority, but when the figurehead has responsibilities within the other nine managerial roles, there is not a negative connotation.

The Leader Managerial Role

While 'leader' is a generic term and the most widely examined of the ten roles, Mintzberg specifically defines the leader managerial role as the act of directing goals and evaluating employee performance. Mentoring, training, and motivating employees are all leadership activities. If you were to develop a new employee orientation program, you would be acting as a leader.

Coaches take on the leader role
Coach as leader

Unlock Content Over 8,500 lessons in all major subjects

Get FREE access for 5 days,
just create an account.

Start a FREE trial

No obligation, cancel anytime.

Want to learn more?

Select a subject to preview related courses:

Start your free trial to take this quiz
As a premium member, you can take this quiz and also access over 8,500 fun and engaging lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Get access today with a FREE trial!
Free 5-day trial
It only takes a minute to get started. You can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access.


  • Management Courses
  • Supplemental Lessons
  • Popular Articles

Search Our Courses

Did you like this?
Yes No

Thanks for your feedback!

What didn't you like?

What didn't you like?

Education Portal Video Lessons

The smarter way to study Short videos, Real results
  • More affordable than tutoring
  • All major high school and college subjects
  • Unlimited access to all 8,500+ video Lessons
  • Study on your own schedule
Try it Free