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Micromanagement vs. Macromanagement. Which Style Is Better?

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To aid with the discussion on management style, let’s begin by introducing the concept of business maturity.  This is because the maturity of your organization is directly related to what type of management style works best for the company.

What Is Business Maturity?

Business maturity refers to how developed an organization is, as it relates to its management structure and style, strategic planning processes, operational business processes, digital technology systems & infrastructure, and organizational structure.

All organizations mature and change over time. If we look at a startup and then a large enterprise, we can see just how drastic the changes are–and they are across all facets of organizational practices.

For instance, in an startup organization, the owner-founder manages everyone and everything–i.e. an emphasis on micromanagement.  On the other hand, a growth stage organization has structured business units and divisions.  Management roles are very well defined and so are the business processes they follow.  We can draw a metaphor to teaching.  Similarly, the teaching style of a 1-on-1 tutor (micromanagement) is vastly different from the teaching style of a 100+ student lecture hall.

A useful analysis tool for evaluating and analyzing business maturity is the 5 Stages of Business Growth.  This framework defines 5 stages of business maturity from Stage I (Existence) to Stage 5 (Resource Maturity).  Familiarity with the Five Stages of Business Growth allows you to gain invaluable insights, including:

  • Knowing what to focus on at what stage.
  • Appropriate management style at each stage.
  • Anticipation of key challenges at various points.
  • Critical success factors through the company’s progression.
  • Involvement of owner at various stages.
  • Evaluation of impact from governmental regulations and policies.

This framework helps us understand the appropriate level of supervision management should implement at the current business maturity stage of the organization.  We will discuss this framework and business maturity further at the end of this article.

Why Should You Care about Supervision?

Whether you are running a large manufacturing company, an essay writing service where students can pay for essay, a marketing agency, or any other kind of business, there is one paramount thing that might be holding your team back from achieving the best results. A poorly organized management system.

In reality, there are plenty of factors that affect your team’s success. Yet, wise supervision is what can either boost your employees’ productivity or kill their motivation. Thus, it is vital that you pick the right style of supervision and stick to it.

But, what style should you choose? Today, there are quite a few options to pick from. However, it all eventually gets down to the two core principles. These principles are called micromanagement and macromanagement.

This article will help you understand what each stands for and which one is best.


This style of supervision is based on close observation of each individual employee’s work and results. Managers who stick to this style typically provide well-defined goals and quotas for every team member. They scrupulously monitor the team’s performance to ensure that all tasks are taken care of on time.

This approach to supervising teams has been trending a while ago but even now there are still some companies that choose it over others as the most effective. Indeed, it allows the creation of the correct hierarchy within the team. It also helps foster seamless and unquestioning subordination. However, it also has a number of drawbacks.

As for the disadvantages, the main reason why many companies these days are trying to avoid this type of supervision is that it often tends to go over the limits. It gives bosses plenty of power and often causes serious workplace bullying. Needless to say that it puts lots of stress on employees.


Compared to the type of supervision discussed earlier, this style offers you a completely different approach. It doesn’t imply strict control, but rather a more “hands-off” approach.

Adopting this style, the boss minimizes his intervention into the process. That is, staff members are free to perform their day-to-day tasks however they see fit with less supervision from the company’s authorities.

However, minimized intervention does not mean a total lack of control. Just like in any other type of supervision, this one requires the boss to remain in regular and close contact with the team and each individual member as well.

Today, more and more businesses are leaning towards this style due to a number of reasons. Most importantly, it ensures a higher level of satisfaction among employees and, thus, helps create a more positive and stress-free atmosphere in the entire team.

Micromanagement vs. Macromanagement: Which Is Best?

Now, after looking closely at each type of supervision, all that is left for us to do is to answer the main question – which style is best suited for the overall success of the company?

As you now know, micromanagement enables supervisors to acquire full control over the tasks and operations performed by their subordinates. This style is the synonym for order and organization. That is, if you stick to it, you will know for sure that your business is run just the way you want it to be run, meaning that each employee performs the set tasks and achieves the foreseen result.

Macromanagement, on the other hand, is a much more relaxed, pressure-free style of supervision. It implies less intervention from the manager’s side. Simply put, if you choose this style, your employees will be pretty much left for their own devices.

Both styles have certain pros and cons.  To determine which management style is better, we need to consider the stage of business maturity of your organization.  Refer to the PowerPoint slide below to better understand how management style evolves from stage to stage.

Macromanagement puts less pressure on the team, which often often results in improving employee motivation, employee satisfaction, and likewise, and employee performance.  Micromanagement, on the contrary, allows the company’s authorities to establish a proper system of hierarchy but, at the same time, it can undermine the spirits in your team and lead to plenty of bad consequences.

In general, by the time the company reaches Stage 2 (Survival), the management style should depart from micromanagement to macromanagement.  The optimal management approach for the Survival stage is called “Supervised Supervision,” which is characterized by the owner becoming more of an administrator.

If the owner remains focused a micromanagement style and thus fails to give up control, this will result in the perpetual stagnation of the company’s growth.

Therefore, it is critical for the owner to know when to delegate responsibilities.  In fact, as each stage requires a different management style, it is common for the management team to also change as the company grows from small to enterprise.

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About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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