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Managing and managing people
Managing and managing people

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4.3.1 Interpersonal roles

These cover the relationships that a manager has to have with others. The three roles within this category are figurehead, leader and liaison. Managers must act as figureheads because of their formal authority and symbolic position representing the organisation. As leaders, managers have to consider the needs of an organisation and those of the individuals they manage and work with. The third interpersonal role, that of liaison, deals with the ‘horizontal’ relationships which studies of work activity have been shown to be important for a manager. A manager usually maintains a network of relationships, both inside and outside the organisation. Dealing with people, formally and informally, up and down the hierarchy and sideways within it, is thus a major element of the manager’s role. A manager is often most visible when performing these interpersonal roles.