Micromanagement | Meaning and Definition

What is micromanagement?

Micromanagement implies a management style that is indicated by the controlling and supervision of minor details of an employee’s output and workload. Micromanagers usually refrain from entrusting any power to make decisions and may be overly fixated on the regime of information-gathering. That is done by pushing employees to generate detailed, regular reports that are often redundant.

Micromanagement can occur as a result of personal or institutional causes. Personality traits like insecurity and perfectionism may incline a person towards micromanagement. On top of that, if a manager senses a dearth of competence in the subordinate or there is a lack of respect or trust in the manager-employee relationship, micromanagement can happen. Institutional causes like downward pressure on leaders and managers to accomplish results are another cause attributed to the phenomena.

Micromanagement incites several negative effects such as manager breakdown, reduced productivity, worker pathy, reduced self-belief in employees being micromanaged, and employee disengagement.

If an organization features micromanagement in its work culture, it may experience attrition.


Here are the red flags HR should watch out for identifying potential micromanagers:

  •   A micromanager craves to know what the employees are doing and where they are at all times.
  •   A micromanager wants employees to take their permission before embarking on anything.
  •   Micromanagers sustain thinking that puts themselves on a high pedestal and think they can do it better than anyone else.

Extreme instances of micromanagement might be characterized by pathology even, such as may entail specific personality traits like narcissism and severe bullying at the workplace.

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