Mintzberg (1973) defines manager who seeks and receives information from multiple sources to evaluate the organization’s performance, well-being and overall situation. Monitoring of internal operations, external events, ideas, trends, analysis and pressures is vital. Information to detect changes, problems and opportunities and to construct decision-making scenarios can be current or historic, hard or soft, documented or non-documented.
This role is about building and using a proper intelligence system. The manager must install and maintain this information system by building contacts and training staff to deliver adequate and proper “Information”. For example; Lemco Miller is a two million dollar company that is situated in Massachusetts, USA. The owner of the company was seeking to improve employee productivity and to find out the potential pitfalls that were hampering the production lines. Recently the head of the operational sector decided to install video cameras to watch the product line management. According to the head of the operations it will give a proper scenario of how employees are working and what are the factors that is influencing their performance along with the production line system (De Cenzo, 1997, p. 31).
On the other hand, yearly report (1999) of BGMEA evaluates that most of the manufacturing companies in country like Bangladesh are using floor supervisor to monitor the performance of the line management. For example; in most of the readymade garments factories in Bangladesh, managers take information form the line supervisors about the production process, problems and productivity related issues. That clearly indicates that the lack of technology is a crucial issue that plays differential factors for LDC’s like Bangladesh.
In the case of disseminator role managers bring external views into his/her organization and facilitates internal information flows between subordinates. The preferences of significant people are received and incorporated. The manager interprets/disseminates information to subordinates e.g. policies, rules, regulations. Values are also disseminated via conversations tied with essential issues about what is regarded as important or what ‘we believe in’. for example; in the western countries and mostly in USA, brand managers of Coca Cola company uses a fabulous technique to report the marketing executives about the market conditions of their products in different areas of the country. The brand manager collects data through electronic sources from the supply sections of the drinks using an online network connection. The software also provides useful calculations for forecasting demand and supply of products. After sorting the data brand manager calls upon a video conferencing to analyze and discuss the situation with the coworkers (O’ Brien, 6th Ed.).
In the contrary, Coca Cola Company is operating in Bangladesh for more than twenty years. The brand was franchised by Tabani Beverage Ltd. Though the company is operating for long, still the brand managers use traditional system for collecting market data manually and spreading those information to subordinates and colleagues by issuing hard copy memos or calling upon physical meetings.
Spokesperson A spokesperson is basically who transmits information on organization’s plan to the outsiders and other potential interested parties (Mintzberg, 1973). For example, seminar on a new product lunching by a corporate champion can be expressed as a spokesperson role. While considering western situations, companies clearly position corporate champions as spokespersons who will make corporate media coverage and maintain other corporate information available to the external environments where the company is operating. Similar roles do exist even in a simple supply chain management company of USA.
For example, Bill Beecher is the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of i2 Technologies, Inc. Las Vegas, US. Beecher joined i2 in 1997 as vice president of International Operations. Beecher is dually charged with the internal responsibility for company administration and infrastructure and the external responsibility of being the principal spokesperson to the financial and analyst communities (Internet 1).
Contrastingly, in the LDC’s it is common that the owner or the CEO holds these spokesman roles because not all top management people are aware of the internal corporate strategies. This is due to the beaurocracy of the organizational policies and norms that some of the core information is only available to the Owners or CEOs. For that particular reason, several organizations actually don’t arrange many outsider speaking sessions. Eventually, there had been fewer contracts with the corporate management of an organization with the outsider community or external parties. As a result, the creation of a spokesperson within a company’s management is rarely found. Even if it is visible in many organizations, they are just following the textbook approaches of creating an organizational hierarchy or managerial roles. However, many developing countries are trying to practice the actual roles that managers should play according to the spokesperson role.
Entrepreneur Entrepreneurship is thought to be an opportunistic thinking within organizations. Entrepreneur roles for a manager are to initiate changes in the organization and also the implementation of innovations to improve organization’s situation (Mintzberg, 1973). In order to grow entrepreneurship and small businesses, developed countries and LDC’s are putting many efforts. However, research on organizational entrepreneur roles rarely occurs. Historically, across the nations of the world, researchers on entrepreneurship and research on organizations worked in partial isolation from each other (Howard, 1999).
However, developed countries are in the trend to improve their organisational entrepreneurs inside the organizations who might be a corporate champion or a top manager carrying innovative opportunistic thinking. Usually an entrepreneur role player within a western firm takes many things into account. For example, 1) He endeavors to improve national and international co-operation, as well as work for a better understanding of and tolerance towards all cultures and traditions. 2) He seeks long-term successful development of the organization he is working with. 3) He contributes to fighting the opponents of political and economic social order with more courage than the other employees.
4) He seeks long-term successful development of the organization. On the other hand, in the LDCs or in the developing countries, managers rarely have this role to play whereas the owners or the directors play this role. Managers from low development countries are much more concerned with the day to day operations, weekly meeting updates, corporate progresses and so on (Mustafa, 2002). Entrepreneur roles have very significant impacts on the organizations but unfortunately, companies of the LDCs are yet to explore these opportunities.
It is a generalist role i.e. taking charge when the organization hits an iceberg unexpectedly and where there is no clear programmed response. Disturbances may arise from staff, resources, threats or because others make mistakes or innovation has unexpected consequences. The role involves stepping in to calm matters, evaluate, re-allocate, support – removing the thorn – buying time. For example; McHugh Company that operates in Australia and in overseas, renown for manufacturing electrical components for household appliances. In 1998, the company hired an assistant manager, John Bellamy who was experienced in the similar fields of work for several years.
After joining McHugh, John found that in between 1996 – 1998, productivity had decreased in the assembly line and consequently the rejection rate of finished products was increasing. John examined the problems and found that woman working on the assembly line had some conflicts with the supervisors in occasion. But more importantly, he found that the women working in the line can’t switch their task without the consent of the supervisors. Whereas this tasks sometimes become very boring and monotonous for the line workers. In addition rewarding employees with bonus was on the basis of overall production but not on the individual performance. John Bellamy took the problems into account of the line management and provided adequate solutions for that (Nankervis, Compton & McCarthy, 1999a, p. 222).