“Performing” in Mintzberg’s role


A description of the interpretive perspective: “performing” Mintzberg’s roles

The nature of managerial communication

Studying the nature of managerial roles focuses on the actual behavior of managers in daily activities. There are three general sets of roles of managerial behavior: interpersonal, informational and decisional roles.  Interpersonal roles link directly to the status and authority of a manager, roles such as a figurehead; informational roles are created to receive and transmit information; and decisional roles refer to the activities which have a critical impact on organizational decisions. The interpretive researcher concentrates significantly on the communicative process of organizational life to see how these three roles perform in the real world. The center of interpretive study is that communication is multifunctional: it is assumed that social construction makes reality, which is maintained and created by the communication process in the real world.

Managerial Performance

Life can be seen as stage management by viewing behavior as a performance. This metaphor helps us to understand the meaning of human behavior as a symbolic process with expressive and instrumental functions. As stated in Nick Trujillo (1989) regarding Victor Turner’s suggestion that many actions in many performances fulfill the different meanings of reality, “Performances are those very actions whereby individual reveal their cultural reality to themselves and to others”: the action begins after individuals reveal their cultural reality to themselves and others, and reconstruct the symbolic process by treating things as real. As Bruno Latour said, “Faire, c’est faire faire.” Reality is where the action happens.

Are performances interactional? As Nick Trujillo mentioned, “Managerial performances as communicative phenomena are always socially enacted by multiple participants” (Trujillo, 1989). Most organization are managed with hierarchical, leadership and decision-making systems along with the performance of management, thus managers are only the action parts of the organization.

Performance has two meanings: one is that, situationally or randomly, it is the inherent contextual nature of any communication event; and the other is that it is historically embedded, which means that it happens at a specific time in the ongoing current of events. Managerial performance involves mass action and meanings to introduce the importance of that current into the organization’s reality.

It is normal that managers lose their existent scripted lines because of standard procedures and routine work, for instance, the interactions stemming from multiple interpretations of interpersonal, informational and decisional performances — these factors want to make things harder when we think of managerial communication.

When we talk about interpersonal performance, hierarchy is the key factor for each member in defining their own roles and relationships within the organization under the rules and agreements for mutual recognition. Content and the aspect of linkage are in every message; their dimension of transferring the information which favors the aspect of relationship is known as the meta-communicative aspect.

The selectivity of hierarchies makes organizational relationships which can be selected and strategically called on at a particular time while maintaining a distance between higher and lower positions in the sense of interpersonal performances. Everyone in the organization is included as a part of each other’s conversation.



Trujillo, N. (1989). “Performing” Mintzberg’s roles: The nature of managerial communication. 1983, Beverly Hills: Sage. Communication and Organization: An Interpretative Approach, 73-97. doi:10.1177/017084068400500424

*** This is an excerpt of my original work. I personally think that it is very important and very interesting for those who doubt or have the same interest as I do.

*** This is only an excerpt of my original work. I personally think that it is very important and very interesting for those who doubt or have the same interest as I do.


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