Talk:Micromanagement

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Article title[edit]

I moved this article from micro-management to micromanagement because the latter is the form given in the Oxford English Dictionary as of 2004. --Lowellian 06:24, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)


Computer games[edit]

I added a small section about micromanagment in computer games. Unfortunatly I am not a native english speaker and I would like someone to see that it is correctly spelled.

Worker/Boss Ratio[edit]

The article currently states that if a boss can do a task better than the worker and still gives the order, this would be micromanagement. That can't be true - just consider a not too complex task. Even if the boss could do it just as fast as the worker, he might choose to delegate it to get time freed up for something else (more important, more abstract, whatever). I hardly see that as micromanagement, and belive the whole notion of worker/boss ratio is in an incorrect context here.

in response to this:

The article does not state this at all,but the opposite: it gave an example of a form of micromanagement where the boss is competent and either does the task himself,or strictly controls how this task is done.It is described as a benign case of micromanagement. Nonetheless,it is still a case of micromanagement because it undermines the employees authority.

In response to response by third party:

I have to agree with the original article. A Manager is in place because the Manager is presumed to know all of the processes that fall below his/her operations. However, it is the subordinate who is on the front line and knows the smaller details regarding any given task. The subordinate may be trained by the Manager to make decisions 'him/herself' based on the training and is held accountable for those decisions made my the Manager. If a subordinate makes a mistake after instruction and training has been administered in this task, then it is the Managers responsibility to communicate the instructions again to avoid the mistake a second time. If the same mistake is made repeatedly, then it is the subordinate who is failing to follow training and instructions. In this instance, the Manager should be direct and follow protocol to dismiss that employee. In micromanagement, the Manager is in effective in either communicating proper instructions or recognizing that a termination in needed immediately. The instance described in the response is only partially applicable to a basic services and manufacturing industry. In the medical field, the responsibility of the Medical Professional (e.g. a Medical Doctor) being micromanaged is to question Management processes by Administration or Supervisors in the best interest of the patient. This may involve completely bypassing Human Resources departments which are not knowledgeable enough to consult on how Management processes impact Medical or Health procedures. Also, management and or supervisors may not simply terminate a Health Worker for clerical or operation procedures as a great Liability between patient and Institution is created if this is done. Simply stated, a Hospital does not make a doctor a doctor, nor does a Supervisor or Administration make a doctor a doctor. A Doctor is a self standing Health Worker whose ability to make decisions are dangerous to Micromanage and suggesting that another should control Authorities for a doctor is very unwise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.225.140.16 (talk) 19:15, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Who is this ?[edit]

Who is the person listed as an example of a micromanager? --Vorenus 23:38, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

About Micromanagement[edit]

I own a corporation; I employ three managers and fifteen employees. One of my managers is in training. I completely disagree with micromanagement as being a bad thing. I can not afford to let one of my projects fall flat on its face just to prove I don’t micromanage. I over see everything, until I feel I can trust that manager. I believe it is an employees job to prove and earn trust, and not up to me to just hand it to them and hope they care enough to do their best. Accusing someone of micromanaging is a way of getting them off your back so you can do the job how ever you want. This would be fine, if the employees were accountable for any problems, but in the end only the corporation will suffer.

What's he doing being put in that position if he can't cope with having you peering over his shoulder all the time? A little bit of it to someone new in a position is understandable, but you're sounding exactly like the type of person who is being derided in this article (which the article shouldn't be doing - it reads a bit unencyclopaedic, even if it's making a sound point). Why do you need to do it when most companies don't? -Riedquat 21:39, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Saying that "I completely disagree with micromanagement as being a bad thing" is an opinion, not a fact. There is no place for subjective comments on this site. Wikipedia is not an arena where you should be defending your position; the article is supposed to be unbiased but there are areas which sound biased. That is the reason for the current dispute. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.65.124.26 (talk) 22:26, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
You're entitled to your opinion and you express it well, but it's completely irrelevant to the purpose of Wikipedia and this Talk page. You aren't offering any suggestions on improving the article, and that's what this page is about. Even if you wanted to work your experiences/opinions into the article, that would be original research, and thus inappropriate.
Notice I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with your opinions. That, too, would be irrelevant.
--63.25.10.78 (talk) 09:27, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Dear corporation owner, this is not micromanagement, but rather monitoring as part of training. Your activity would become micromanagement when your new manager has demonstrated that he can perform the tasks you assign to him and yet you still unnecessarily provide him step instructions for his tasks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Papa Yves (talkcontribs) 01:23, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Why is there any discussion on the veracity or bias of this article? To say that applying a negative connotation to micromanagement is incorrect would be the same as objecting to a negative connotation to rabies, bubonic plague, cancer, schizophrenia, date-rape, racism, or Hitler. Some things are just inherently bad. And to declare them so is not necessarily a contradiction to factual format of Wikipedia. Somebody at Wikipedia needs to lock this page down.

The statement above from the COO confuses proper training with Micromanagement. "I over see everything, until I feel I can trust that manager." In overseeing the COO is making sure that the Managers have been given clear and conscise communication and training. The statement also suggests that the COO is able to find a point where he/she 'trusts' his manager to make decisions tht fall inline with the companies objectives. In Micromanagement, the COO would never 'trust' his/her employees and would never allow managers to make a single decision without approval. This type of approval for a large corporate COO managing more than ten managers should be reserved for analysis of spending or process within a certain division if a problem or ineficiancy is identified or may be improved. If the COO is spending so much time making basic decisions for his/her staff, then that staff needs to be replaced until the COO finds one he can 'trust.'

 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.225.140.16 (talk) 19:21, 6 May 2010 (UTC) 

Micromanagement in a military sense[edit]

Where companies and corperations can have project leaders who exhibit this form or stlye of leadership, the term micromanagement can also be connected to leadership styles of commanders, and other leaders in the military service. Where project managers are responsible for meeting deadlines and producing profits, military leaders are charged with the accomplishment of a specific mission or the lives of the soldiers or service members below them.

In a military sense, micromanagement could be seperated into two catagories or styles. The first being where a leader over sees and constantly checks on all of subordinates or performance of tasks, rather than just the individuals one rank or position below him. An example of this is where a platoon sergeant ( In the US Army - a senior Non-Commisioned Officer [NCO] responsible for 3-4 squads usually totalling around 30-50 soldiers ) constantly inspects and oversees the soldiers in his platoon rather than only inspecting and monitoring his Squad Leaders. Where this can check to make sure his squad leaders are performing their duties to standard, on a constant basis, it can cause squad leaders to feel they are not given the amount of trust,authority, and responsibility they need.

The second sense is more controlling where the leader or manager goes farther and takes direct control of all their subordinates. An example of this would be the Platoon Sergeant giving orders to and directly tasking all of his soldiers rather than giving the tasks to his squad leaders. While this would be neccessary if the squad leader(s) were incapable of performing their duties, under normal circumstances, it causes problems for the squad leaders. Usually in this case, they aren't given enough authority to make decisions for themselves to accomplish tasks efficiently and practically. It does however allow the manager or leader to have tasks accomplished exactly the way they want, though it may take more time while they are having to oversee each individual task.

About Micromanagement reply Jan, 3 2007[edit]

I agree and I've added some of the positive aspects of micromanagement. Hope this helps as there is a real and tangible benefit to micro managing at certain levels. I've seen too many new managers take a hands off approach to projects fearing they are micro managing.

MicroManagement is unproductive...[edit]

Military references are not applicable here. Military personnel are required to follow orders regardless of how inane or ridiculous they may seem. People in the private sector are free-thinking human beings and can make choices on their own. They are also responsible for the consequences of those choices. Micro Management goes against the whole concept of a hierarchy for efficiency in the workplace. A typical corporate hierarchy has workers who report to their supervisors who report to their supervisors and so on. The upper level supervisors should not have to worry about the people two or more levels below them; providing the lower level supervisors are doing THEIR job correctly. In my experience, happy workers are productive workers. Workers who are being Micro Managed are usually not happy and therefore are usually unproductive and disgruntled. Matt A.205.173.39.254 18:21, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Well Done![edit]

Please forgive my taking up precious space here, but I just had to congratulate all who have contributed to this article as it stands today, November 27, 2007. I could not imagine a more perfectly stated article. Well done! -- WesWalker (talk) 18:24, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Bravo![edit]

This article perfectly describes the situation at the small manufacturing company where I have the misfortune of working for an amateur chief executive who can barely outwit livestock. I know that the workplace does not have to be like this! Unlike former bosses, this tyrant has forgotten that the CEO is still an employee of the corporation, like the rest of us. I will show this article to our middle managers, all of whom are about to resign because they tire of micromanagement by our CEO. Our company has been in trouble for a few years, and it will probably fail in the next 18 months. Many rank-and-file workers are already fleeing. When I resign (soon, I hope!), I will name this little company and cite it as an example of a once-viable business that failed because its owners were incompetent, yet ego-maniacal, micromanagers. For several years, I felt like I have been trapped in a Dilbert cartoon. Prospero/Caliban? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.132.208.56 (talk) 10:31, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Email[edit]

The introduction of electronic mail has given micro-managers great scope for carrying out their work. By use of this tool they can explain more clearly the task and how they want it done. Continuous monitoring become possible because of the real-time reality of email. It also allows them to search, track and provide even greater control of documentation trails. If you make a reply to a micro-manager and he disputes it, he has the back-up data to hang you. Micro-managers are not all exclusive to email, but those that use it, love it as it supports their reson d'etre. It also allows them to brag to peers about how much they are controlling their workforces

There seems to be some confusion. Product, inventory and leads control is a good thing as exemplified by the retail giant Wal-mart. Where controling individuals actions to make empowered decisions is micro-management. Too many empoloyees who have heard this term use it for the controling of products as a reason why they should not be held accoubtable. I am concerned the definition provided adds fuel to this fire by not making this important distnction.12.160.65.251 (talk) 15:23, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

One Bias vs. Another[edit]

This page was generated because of biases within the article showing micromanagement in a negative light. That was followed by this discussion page, where several contributors defended micromanagement. The point here is to remove bias, not to defend a position. How about removing ALL biased comments, but including descriptions of different sides of the argument (for example, "Micromanagement is necessary because it increases production" vs. "Micromanagement is abusive and counterproductive, causing stress in the workplace"), making sure to mention that these are only opinions, not facts. Some verified quotes from business people on both sides would be helpful. Marshmallow73 (talk) 15:55, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

How can it be an opinion when it's noted by many people? The people saying it's not neutral are the micromanagers who are just upset that they've been showcased for what they are on here. plain and simple. I would like to point to the part of the article where it says "focusing on minor details." Those details are often things that do not have anything to do with increasing productivity in any way, yet the manager sees fit to continually harrass an employee about such inane details. - 198.200.181.206 (talk) 16:17, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Its a matter of long term vs short[edit]

While it is true that micromanaging has been responsible for a number of successful products and businesses, the real downside is that the business, or department grows to depend entirely on the force of one person, and is rarely able to survive intact after that person moves on. IN addition, if we look at a whole life, a micromanaging style requires a tremendous exertion of energy to the exclusion of most anything else, and does not develop fully rounded subordinates. Further, real management is about managing systems, not individual parts. The best use of management is to articulate clearly the aims of the company, provide for the development needs of the people, machines, methods and materials, and remove obstacles to pride of workmanship. Fundamentally, the world we live in is out of our control and we can at best hope to influence it. Micromanaging is a kind of hubris, that has a high cost in family life, friendship, physical health, and creates a situation where the system becomes completely dependent on one, or a handful of rather disagreeable people. After all, what gives a life meaning and value? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paedaea (talkcontribs) 01:11, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Clarity[edit]

The writing in parts of this article could use a bit of cleanup. Poor punctuation and a lack of coherent sentence structure can make either pro- or anti-micromanagement sentiment appear to be more of a rant than a summary. Poorly-written bits of this article should be edited before bias can even begin to be disputed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.1.227.82 (talkcontribs) 17:42, 17 July 2008

I agree that the writing lacks clarity, and suffers from many errors. I disagree that this needs to be resolved before the issue of bias can be addressed. --63.25.10.78 (talk) 09:35, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Comment from page[edit]

I'm moving the following addition from the article to the talk page. Firstly, it was signed, and secondly it seems more like an opinion / reply than something which belongs on the article. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 19:43, 18 August 2008 (UTC)


Two paragraphs that attempt neutrality:

Micromanagement is a general name for the exercise of excessive control over process or tasks of managed employees.[1] The subjective evaluation of "excessive" that makes micromanagement a controversial subject. Good managers typically and naturally exercise detailed control of employees who are either new or not providing the results expected. Once the employee is capable of providing the results with less supervision the good managers typically can manage on more general goals. Detailed management becomes micromanagement when the employee has proved that they are perfectly capable of completing the task with the required results and with no negative unintended consequences and yet the manager continues to direct each step in the process. One difference of opinion occurs when an employee thinks they can do this before the manager believes they have proved the ability. Another occurs when the manager is not skilled enough to provide safe methods for the employee to prove their competence. Unfortunately the term is also used as a way for unhappy employees to rationalize rebellious behavior which confuses the issue greatly.

When micromanagement truly occurs the results are lower productivity as employees wait on the manager to guide every step or approve every action[2] Additionally employees morale will deteriorate as they percieve that thier competency is in question. Employees will also stop innovating since the detailed instructions limit or negate thier input. On the other hand if an employee truly is not competent and is being trained to be competent by being given guidance at a detailed level, and then they decide they are being micromanaged and rebel, productivity is compromised because the employee fails to learn after that decision. A good manager will concistantly evaluate and reevaluate themselves to balance the proper use of detailed managementBillpennock (talk) 16:57, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

"Summary" section biased and bad, lacks "competencies".[edit]

I agree that the section titled "Summary" is biased, as well as crippled by errors and unclear or repetivitve writing. When the section proceeds to compare the micromanager to bullies, narcissists, and addicts, it begins to feel insulting to the reader's intelligence.

Here's an example of bad writing:

In other cases of excessive micromanagement, the manager may feel that by implementing processes and procedures to execute orders and instructions, this enables the manager to feel and be able to demonstrate his or her usefulness and a valuable role in the overall business activity.

"Implementing" is a four-dollar word when any of several simpler ones would do. "Processes and procedures" is ridiculously redundant. They're practically the same word -- in fact, they're derived from nearly-identical terms ("Process" from Latin procedere; "Procedure" from Middle French proceder). However, if the first half of this phrase is laughable, then "to execute orders and instructions" is so bad one might cry. What is the difference between an "order" and an "instruction"? For that matter, what's the difference between "implementing" and "executing"? Finally, is anybody (including the author) really certain what this sentence means?

I would also inform the author that "competencies" is not a word -- and even if it were, "comptencies of efficiency" would still be as redundant as "homes of residency". No, wait -- I suppose real-estate investors and the super-wealthy may have houses in which they never reside -- let's say, "homes of dwelling". Or, "workplaces of industry", or "cars of transportation".

This atrocious sort "Business English" is so ubiquitous, it's probably worthy of a Wikipedia article itself.

Then there's the poor punctuation and sentence structure; to delineate this would be tedious.

But primarily, the problem is the lack of neutrality, the bitter, ranting tone. I'll leave it to others who agree to illustrate this; I just wanted to put in my vote. --63.25.10.78 (talk) 11:14, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

"Finally, is anybody (including the author) really certain what this sentence means?"

Yes. It means by limiting the ability of the employees to function without intervention by the manager, the manager is affirming his/her competence when it otherwise would not be considered as greater than that of the employees. Orders and instructions are not the same thing. Think of an "order" as a general task. Such as "complete the job". Instructions describe how to carry out the order or "complete the job".

Process and procedure are generally used in the same context as "order" and "instruction". The process is "why" your mail gets delivered every day, the procedure is "how" it gets there.Goodpaster (talk) 13:00, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Micromanagment as mental sickness?[edit]

'Extreme cases represent dangerous management pathology. The latter is characterized by an obsessive style of management and is closely related to workplace bullies, narcissists and other management pathologies. Micromanagers, like many addicts, are the last ones to recognize that they are addicted to controlling others.' Paragraph 3 The text clearly presents micromanagement as some sort of internal sicknes, like botulism or depression. But DSM-IV doesn't show micromanagement, and this view is certainly not even hinted at in the cited articles. The articles cited all show micromanagement as the result of a faulty viewpoint, namely distrusting employees to have enough initiative to make decisions themselves. The distrust itself may be the manager's own delusions or a genuine conclusion based on the employees concerned, but in the end this is not founded in the personality or mentality of the manager. Paragraphs 4, 8 and 9 are extend this idea considerably, even stating how external factors such as time or pressure from higher authority might bring about micromanagement, as well as defining so-called 'benign' and 'severe' forms. When you can see micromanagement happening, that's what it is. Its components are not necessarily symptoms of micromanagement by themselves. They have to all occur at the same time to the same employees because of the manager. The effects of micromanagement are also not well-linked to their sources. For example and only an example, decrease in self-esteem comes from the employees being forced to do their jobs, their expertise, in the way their manager, most likely an outsider, wants them to do it. They do not do the job at their best, and productivity drops as a result of unrelated authority. Lastly, the cited articles 2 and 5 are unavailable. They should either be removed or the new links found and placed on the articles. VGames (talk) 12:56, 18 July 2009 (UTC)VertigoGames

Nanomanagement[edit]

I merged the info from Nano management into this article because there is not sufficient content to justify having its own article, however I am not sure if it adds anything (at all) to this article so someone more familiar with the article should review this section. Thanks. --Aka042 (talk) 09:12, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

I removed the "nanomanagement" section because the definition and description provided are no different than those provided for "mere" micromanagement. My guess is that the term "nanomanagement" is a would-be internet meme started by someone -- not necessarily Aka042 -- for the purpose of saying "Look at me -- I'm familiar with Greek prefixes! And I got this trend going where now everyone's using the word I invented! Aren't I clever and cool?" 165.176.7.3 (talk) 23:00, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Alleged source "Renee Kowalski": Citation specificity, verifiability, and accuracy[edit]

Who is this Renee Kowalski whose name keeps getting added in parentheses as if she were a source or the author of a source? Neither the parenthetical citations nor the reference section name any book(s)/paper(s) she has written, any lecture(s)/interview(s) she has given, or any other channel (let alone a verifiable one) through which she's contributed the material next to which her name appears.

Especially when her name is listed without connection to any sort of work, the citations look at best like lame attempts at "keyword stuffing" -- and at worst like an effort to falsely credit her for discovering or developing concepts that weren't actually her work, thereby fabricating credentials proclaiming that she's some sort of authority on the subject.

In the event that she *did* come up with the claims listed and/or the event that her work *does* support those claims, getting her name out this way just makes her look bad, so Wikipedia's resident Renee Kowalski fan isn't doing her any favors. Next time, add a footnote either a) listing her as the author of a specific book or article, complete with citation to the page on which her defense of a claim appears, or b) providing a link to a source verifying that she's made serious statements supporting the associated propositions (e.g., during a lecture or in an interview).

66.171.231.171 (talk) 03:29, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

I removed references to Renee Kowalski from the article. It appears to be a defacement/personal attack rather than a quoted source of any kind. - Milliamp (talk)

Benefits of Micro Management[edit]

Is there any information about when micro management could actually be beneficial ? I would like to argue that two of the most successful managers of the last 20 years could be described as micromanages: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. - Maarten 62.195.52.188 (talk) 09:54, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

This sounds like original research unless you have a source for benefits of micromanagement. Just because Jobs and Gates have a reputation as micromanagers doesn't mean that their success was totally credited from their micromanagement. Azn Clayjar (talk) 14:54, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Nanomanaging?[edit]

I ran across the term nanomanager as a micromanager who is also a control freak. Has anyone else seen this term? If so, should it be included in the article? Septagram (talk) 06:04, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Yep looks to be common on google.--Penbat (talk) 10:08, 2 February 2011 (UTC)