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7 Examples of Micromanagement

 , May 02, 2020
Micromanagement is a style or approach to management that strictly controls the work of employees. This can occur due to organizational culture, the personal style of a manger, work that requires extreme attention to detail or low performing employees who require correction. The following are illustrative examples.

Supervision

Supervision is the process of monitoring employees as they work. This can be contrasted with management by objectives whereby managers only check that an employee is on-track to meet goals.

Working Style

Managers that seek to control an employee's work may not recognize the value of different working styles assuming that the method they use is the best way, only way or most productive method. This may underestimate the productivity gained by allowing employees to use their own working style.

Job Depth

Job depth is the amount of authority and freedom in a job. Micromanagers seek to minimize the job depth of others to assert control.

Internal Controls

Internal controls such as processes, procedures, systems, standards and policies are essentially formalized micromanagement that require that work be done in a particular way.

Defense of the Status Quo

Micromanagement is associated with low flexibility and defense of the status quo. For example, employees that adapt to changes in culture and technology may be corrected for violating the "way things have always been done."

Perfectionism

A common motivation for micromanagement is a sense of perfectionism whereby a manager feels an employee's work is unacceptable unless it strictly conforms to the manager's sense of work quality.

Criticism

Micromanagement can involve regular criticism of work regardless of results. A more laissez-faire approach to management would only criticize results themselves.

Notes

Micromanagement is popularly presented as being the result of the narcissistic whims of a manager. However, this is not always the case. Managers may adopt a micromanagement approach where work quality or throughput is failing in order the correct the situation. In some cases, a manager will micromanage one employee whose work they perceive as lacking and give other employees far more job depth such as the freedom to make decisions and adopt their own working style.
Overview: Micromanagement
Type
Definition
A style or approach to management that strictly controls the work of employees.
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