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What Managers Really Do

Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 05:23 PM EDT

As nowadays many write about leadership and its qualities, Dr. Mintzberg who is the professor of management studies at McGill University has interest in writing about managers as he is studying about that seriously and of course he is a well known management scholar.

Dr. Mintzberg did his work of study on managers in his early age itself. In 1973, a book called “The Nature of Managerial Works” was published by him, based on his doctoral dissertation at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Recently he came up with a book called “Managing” which deals with the subject in a more efficient manner. This book is due to release on this September and for this book he studied the managers in action. That is by observing 29 persons from the CEO of a bank to managers in a refugee camp. Each persons work and the routine are being interrupted by many other activities and it varies depending on the organization this is what he observed while he spent his days with them.

In his recent interview to Business Insight he spoke about many things and here are some of the excerpts from the interview.

Business Insight question is you deal with several misconceptions in management in your book, can you explain about it?

Dr. Mintzberg replied that Myth is the manager as orchestra conductor. He said that any management is like an orchestra in rehearsal as everything is being done in a wrong manner. According to Peter Drucker the manager is the one who conducts and as well as compose. That will be very grand and glorious to see and he says that this is so called myth.

The next question is that what is another aspect of management that your research deals with that of other researches, about degree of interruptions that managers face?
Dr. Mintzberg said through his thesis that interruptions are the primary things that grow up with management and because of having this blackberry in their pocket the interruptions are increasing in number.

Business Insight next question is that you deal with three planes, explain to us about that?

Dr. Mintzberg said basically managing is just about the influence of your action. Managing also helps organizations and units to get everything done in right manner. In some case managers try to manage the situation directly. Also they fight with fires, manage projects and negotiate contracts.
Also he said in his interview that in today’s world many manages through information i.e., so called “deeming”. Mostly all thinks that they were very clever and orders by sitting in the office and orders to increase the sales by 10% and if not go out. This kind of work is possible to do even by small kids. Hence this kind of managing through information is the worst one. Also he gives an alternative to this in his next answer as the question is what is the alternative and the best alternative is to just concentrate on people plane and the action plane. This will help in managing in a better way than managing through information.