The Grey Chronicles


The Contributions of Micromanagers

Previously, this blog described the characteristics of micromanagers. This second part enumerates their perceived effects to a corporation. Most of these effects were culled from various literature cited in the previous post.

The Pros

Micromanaging is needed if deadlines are missed, customers are not satisfied, or coaching an underperformer (Lemmex, 2007).

Micromanaging is appropriate if people do not have the maturity to maintain progress or initiate a remedy on their own if a snag occurs (Smith, 2008).

The Cons

Micromanagement, however, results in significant direct, indirect and hidden costs to organizations, and these are:

Low Morale. Personnel appear frustrated, depressed, and/or unmotivated.(Myers, 2006; Lemmex, 2007; Chui, 2006). Or simply, micromanagement demoralizes people (Martin, 2004) A micromanager cheats the company for the paid talent of hired employees (Adams, 2002). Micromanaging conveys a lack of confidence in your team and your own ability to lead rather than manage (Smith, 2008).

Disengament. Micromanagers contribute to retention and turnover problems, (Chambers, 2004; Immen, 2005). Employee puts in time but little else, and his apathy affects not only his own productivity but also that of his colleagues (Bielaszka-DuVernay, 2007). Employees become confused and angry, and suddenly quit to work for another company (Wiesner, 2006; Love, 2007).

Inefficiency. Personnel inadequately prepared for assigned tasks (Chambers, 2004; Myers, 2006). Employees sometimes receive so many instructions from you that they become confused or overwhelmed and seek help from other employees. (Dobzinski, 2007). An employee loses interest, resents your role as manager, and does not become proficient at doing his job (Fracaro, 2007).

Limits innovation. Personnel takes no risks, becomes uncreative. (Myers, 2006; Johnson, 2008). They tend to have to check with the manager before doing anything (Lemmex, 2007). They are no longer willing to make sacrifices (Arizona Business Gazette, 2003). They stop making suggestions and being straight with you (Adubato, 2006).

Overworked Micromanagers overload themselves, lose sight of the big picture, and eventually cede control to destiny (Chui, 2006). Micromanagers come into the office earlier than any staff member and leave later. If they are away from the office, they call in at least twice a day, including when they are sick or on vacation (Lemmex, 2007).

Instability. The negative behaviors become imbedded as the norms of the organization and actually serve as the operational model for day-to-day activities. They may permeate the entire organizational structure (Chambers, 2004).

Micromanagers have been referred to as controlling, dictatorial, judgmental, critical, bureaucratic, suspicious, or snooping by staff, managers, or family members. (Lemmex, 2007).


Adubato, Steve (2006) “Beware of Leaders Who Micromanage,” New
Jersey Biz
, 31 July 2006, p. 11. back to text

Arizona Business Gazette (2003), “Micromanaging Often Causes Big Problems,” The Arizona Republic, 06 November 2003. back to text

Adams, Dr. Paul E. (2002). Micromanaging: Inefficient Business Management Style. USA: Paradigm News, Inc. April 15, 2002. back to text

Bielaszka-DuVernay, Christina (2007)“Micromanage at Your Peril,” Harvard Management Update. February 2007: p. 3. back to text

Chambers, Harry E. (2004), My Way or the Highway, The Micromanagement Survival Guide. USA: Berret-Koehler Pubs, December 2004. 250 pp. back to text

Dobzinski, Alan M. with Margaret E. Wilson (2007). Are Micromanagers Sabotaging Your Company? USA: Tandem Partners, 2007. back to text

Fracaro, Kenneth (2007), The Consequences of Micromanaging. Contract Management, July 2007, pp. 4-8. back to text

Immen, Wallace (2005), How bad does a boss have to be before employees bolt? USA: Globe and Mail, 29 June 2005. p. C3. back to text

Johnson, Dr. Rick (2008), Empowerment ~ Are You a Micro Manager? USA: Strategist, LLC. 05 July 2008, back to text

Lemmex, Steve (2007) What Is Micromanagement? And What You Can Do To Avoid It. USA: Global Knowledge, 14 February 2007. back to text

Love, Sally (2007), Are You a Micromanager? USA: 14 July 2007. back to text

Martin, Paula K. (2004), Stop Micromanaging. Martin Training Associates, 27 May 2004. back to text

Myers, Maelene J. (2006) , Confessions of a Former Micro Manager. Proceedings of LISC Management Series, Session III, Harvard Business School Publishing, 16 November 2006. back to text

Smith, Stefanie (2008), Are You a Micromanager? Risks and Rewards. USA: American Management Association, Vol. 3 No. 4, April 2008. back to text

Wiesner, Pat (2006). “Micromanagement Kills,” Colorado Biz, August 2006. p. 11. back to text


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