The Dangers of Micromanagement

In the fast-changing world that Life Science firms compete in currently, it is necessary for managers to consistently adjust to sudden changes and to adapt to a new hybrid work model. As a result, companies rely on their employees to continuously innovate and respond to problems efficiently. Pharma and MedTech firms have developed organisational cultures that are future oriented and innovative. However, sometimes employees are unable to have that freedom to develop, as they are constrained by micromanagers who reduce their creativity and independence.

Due to the current health crisis, managers had to adjust the way that they lead their teams and adapt to remote work. Remote team management can be challenging due to the lack of face-to-face supervision, social isolation and distractions at home. Supervising a team from a distance can, unfortunately, lead to leaders micromanaging their teams.

The consensus is that micromanagement is an old-fashioned ineffective way to organise teams and it has many disadvantages on employees. The concept derives from two main sections: high attention to detail and lack of trust. Although many managers try to avoid actively micromanaging, sometimes they take control too seriously and cannot let go of responsibilities. It has a direct negative effect on workers as it is considered invasion of privacy. It demonstrates low morale and reduced productivity. The dangers of this management style include the loss of control, loss of trust, lack of autonomy which turns into a higher turnover of staff. Most people cannot handle the stress and invasion of being micromanaged and as a result they are eventually forced to quit their position.

These effects can end up negatively affecting the whole company as high turnover rates mean there is a constant need to hire and train new employees. It is also more difficult to keep a strong organisational culture. One way that businesses can lower their turnover rates is by providing adequate training, rewarding employees and creating a company culture of trust.

However, there are ways to ameliorate this management style and move more towards a democratic management style. Effective leaders should define the objectives, the strategy and then give their teams the freedom to work out the best route to provide effective and qualitative work. “One way of avoiding this (management style) is by agreeing on update points” says Dr. Rachel MK Headley. Similarly, it is important to develop a culture centred around respect and individual especially now that part of the job is done online.

Therefore, Life Science companies should focus on more efficient management styles to ensure a healthy and trustworthy culture at work, and to avoid high turnover rates.


  1. How Micromanagement May Sabotage Success, May 2019, Villanova University.
  2. Micromanagers Work From Home, May 2020, CNN.
  3. 13 Signs That a Manager is Micromanaging Their Team, July 2020, Forbes.
  4. The Negative Effects of Micromanagement, May 2020, TrackTime.
  5. Negative Impacts of High Turnover Rates, February 2019, Chron.