Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Managerial Roles as Perceived by Fire Chiefs in Contemporary Municipal Fire Departments

This study analyzes the managerial role set that comprises the job of "Fire Chief." Fire Chiefs are ideal subjects for an examination of the role of executives in a turbulent environment. Using Mintzberg's taxonomy of managerial roles, U.S. fire chiefs were surveyed to learn their perceptions of role priorities. This paper describes a dominant profile in which fire chiefs tend to assign highest priority to interpersonal roles, followed by informational and decision-making roles. This profile is the reverse of published studies on private sector executives and their perceived roles. The analysis of survey data suggests implications for executive development and raises questions for further research based on the preliminary findings.