Beyond Rational Management

Beyond Rational Management
by Robert E. Quinn

Resources derived from the material in the book

Self-Assessment and Change:
A competing Values Workbook

Below you will find descriptions for each of the eight roles in the competing values framework. The workbook is meant as a tool for thinking in greater depth about yourself and what you might do to improve your managerial abilities. For each role, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Learn About Yourself
    1. In regard to this role, what do I know about myself?
    2. What do others think of my performance in this role and why?
  2. Develop a Change Strategy
    1. How could I more effectively play this role?
    2. Who are some people I could imitate?
    3. What books should I read?
  3. Implement the Change Strategy
  4. What specific objectives and deadlines should I set?
  5. With whom should I share these?
  6. How will I evaluate my performance?

The Producer

A producer is expected to be task-oriented and work focused and to have high interest, motivation, energy, and personal drive. In this role, a manager is supposed to encourage subordinates to accept responsibility, complete assignments, and maintain high productivity. This usually involves stimulating unit members to better accomplish stated goals.

The Director

As a director, a manager is expected to clarify expectations through processes such as planning and goal setting and to be a decisive initiator who defines problems, selects alternatives, establishes objectives, defines roles and tasks, generates rules and policies, evaluates performance, and gives instructions.

The Broker

The broker is particularly concerned with maintaining external legitimacy and obtaining resources. In carrying out this role, the manager is expected to be politically astute, persuasive, influential, and powerful. Image, appearance, and reputation are important. As a broker, the manager is expected to meet with people from outside the unit, to represent, negotiate, market, act as a liaison and spokesperson, and to acquire resources.

The Innovator

As an innovator, a manager is expected to facilitate adaptation and change. The innovator conceptualizes and projects needed changes. Unlike the monitor role, where deduction, facts, and quantitative analysis rule, the innovator role requires the manager to be a creative dreamer who sees the future, envisions innovations, and packages them in inviting ways.

The Facilitator

The facilitator is expected to foster collective effort, to build cohesion and teamwork, and to manage interpersonal conflict. In this role, the leader is described as process oriented. Expected behaviors include mediating interpersonal disputes, using conflict reduction techniques, developing cohesion and morale, obtaining input and participation, and facilitating group problem solving.

The Mentor

The mentor is expected to engage in the development of people through a caring, empathetic orientation. In this role the leader is expected to be helpful, considerate, sensitive, approachable, open, and fair. In acting out this role, the manager listens, supports legitimate requests, conveys appreciation, and gives compliments and credit. he or she sees people as resources to be developed. The leader helps with skill building, provides training opportunities, and helps people develop plans for their own individual development.

The Monitor

As a monitor, a manager is expected to know what is going on in the unit, to determine whether people are complying with the rules, and to see if the unit is meeting its quotas. The monitor must have a passion for details and be good at rational analysis. Behaviors in this role include technical analysis, dealing with routine information, and logical problem solving.

The Coordinator

As a coordinator, a manager is expected to maintain the structure and flow of the system. The person in this role is expected to be dependable and reliable. Behaviors include protecting continuity, minimizing disruptions, doing paper work, reviewing and evaluating reports, writing budgets, and writing and coordinating plans and proposals.


Primary Goals sits at the intersection of three core ideas about communication:
  • Leaders create vision by communicating a compelling future to their teams.
  • Teams create success based on how effectively the communicate and coordinate with each other.
  • Entrepreneurial ventures are successful only when they communicate value to people with a concern that the business can take care of
In all cases, it’s about Conversations for Committed Results.  That’s our Primary Goal.  



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