Difference Between Managerial Functions and Managerial Roles

Managerial Functions vs Managerial Roles

Difference between managerial functions and managerial roles is that managerial functions involve the key duties and responsibilities of a manager while managerial roles involve the actions that need to be taken in order to carry out the business operations. For example, managerial functions involve planning, organizing, leading, etc. and roles involve directing, decision making, etc. The size of these roles depends on the scale of the organization.

What are Managerial Functions?

Managerial functions involve the duties and responsibilities of a manager. In an organization, a manager is responsible for performing core functions like planning, organizing, directing/leading, coordinating and controlling.

Planning means setting up the goals for the organization and deciding the best way to achieve them. Decision making is also a part of the planning process, which involves selecting a course of actions from a set of alternatives. Planning and decision-making help maintain managerial effectiveness by serving as guides for future activities.

Once the manager has set the goals and developed workable plans, the next managerial function is to organize people and other resources. Organizing involves determining how activities and resources are to be grouped. Then, the third function is leading/directing. Leading is a set of processes used to get members of the organization to work together to further the interests of the organization. Next function is the coordination and controlling of activities. This is essential for smooth workflow operations as well as to monitor the organizational processes.

All the managers in organizations perform these functions in dealing with business operations, but their effectiveness varies as it depends on each of their competencies and experiences.

What are Managerial Roles?

A manager plays different kinds of roles according to the type of the situation within an organization. According to Henry Mintzberga managers role can be primarily divided into three categories as follows:

• Interpersonal -The roles that are related with human interaction.

• Informational – This role consists with sharing and analyzing the information.

• Decisional – This role involves tasks related with decision making.

With regard to the interpersonal roles, there are three types of roles involved; figurehead, leader, liaison. Under this category, a manager acting as a figurehead participate in functions on behalf of the organization. When a manager is acting as a leader, he/she involves in hiring, training and monitoring the employees’ performances. Finally, managers acting as a liaison involves in serving as a coordinator or being a link among the people, groups or organizations.

Under the category of the informational role, a manager acts as a monitor, disseminator, and spokesperson, which involve the processing of information. As a monitor, manager actively seeks information that may be of value. As a disseminator, the manager transfers information back to the others at workplace. The spokesperson formally relays information to people outside the organization.

Under the category of decisional roles, the manager acts as an entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and as a negotiator. As an entrepreneur, a manager acts as a voluntary initiator of change. As a disturbance handler, a manager handles problems related with strikes, copyright infringements or problems related with public relations. As a resource allocator, a manager decides how the resources needs to be distributed. As a negotiator, manager needs to make an agreement with the suppliers, customers,etc.

In dealing with day to day business operations, managers have to play all these important roles as a responsible employee on behalf of the organization.

What is the difference between Managerial Functions and Managerial Roles?

• In every organization, a manager is responsible in performing key functions as planning, organizing, leading, coordinating and controlling.

• Similarly, a manager needs to perform various roles in performing various activities such as interpersonal role, informational role, and decisional role. They can be further subdivided under these three categories as,

Difference Between Managerial Functions and Managerial Roles



Drucker, P. (2012). The Practice of Management. Routledge.

Frances Hesselbein, M. G. (2011). The Leader of the Fture. Hoboken : Johnley & Sons.