A Theorist in Management: Henry Mintzberg

Henry Mintzberg can be described as a guru of management and business studies including managerial and national culture, organization and structure, strategy and planning. He was born in 1939 and since 1968 has been teaching in McGill University in Montréal. Henry Mintzberg is the author of thirteen books including “The Nature of Managerial Work” (1973), “Structure in 5’s: Designing Effective Organization” (1983), “The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning” (1994), “Strategy Bites Back” (2005), etc. Also, Henry Mintzberg is the author of more than 140 articles and twice winner of the McKinsey Award (Witzel, 2003).

Most of his theories, Henry Mintzberg has based on human approach to management. During 1970s, Henry Mintzberg made extensive surveys of existing research and integrated those findings with his own studies of five chief executive officers in his attempts to find how managers spend their time and perform their work. The results were interesting and help the understanding of the nature of the man­agerial task. In “The Nature of Managerial Work” Mintzberg singles out three managerial roles: interpersonal, Informational and decisional.

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A manager's interpersonal roles include that of a figurehead, performing cere­monial duties.

Mintzberg thought that this was possibly the most important and classified this aspect into three roles - role of “disseminator”, company representative or “spokesman” role, and “monitor” role. A manager's decisional roles can be of four types: as an entrepreneur - to launch a new idea; as a disturbance handler; as a resource allocator - choosing from among competing demands for money, equipment, personnel and management time; as a negotiator (Witzel, 2003).

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Also, Mintzberg highlights the changing, uncertain environment in which the manager operates and the importance of organizational structure. According to Henry Mintzberg, the organizations can be based on: simple structure; machine bureaucracy; professional bureaucracy; divisional zed form; adhocracy. In “The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning” Mintzberg has proposed new vision of “strategy” underlining the importance of: processes, data and detachment in planning. Also, Mintzberg criticizes formalization as the main mistake and drawback of modern management.


  1. Witzel, M. (2003) Fifty Key Figures in Management. New York: Routledge.
Updated: Feb 22, 2021
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A Theorist in Management: Henry Mintzberg. (2017, Apr 21). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-theorist-in-management-henry-mintzberg-essay

A Theorist in Management: Henry Mintzberg essay
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