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Dick Spencer Case Study

Autor:   •  October 21, 2015  •  Case Study  •  3,479 Words (14 Pages)  •  1,099 Views

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 “Dick Spencer”: An Analysis

By: Marilyn Gates

        In the Dick Spence case, the main issues are micromanaging, resistance to change, and low morale.  In this case study, we will look at these issues and analyze where Mr. Spencer went wrong and discuss what he could have done to dispel the negative effects of his mistakes.

Micromanagement

As a new manager, it is understandable that Mr. Spencer would want to learn about the day-to-day operations.  However, his actions put the workers and middle managers on edge.  He probably thought he was Managing By Walking Around (MBWA), but his actions were regarded as micro-management by his employees.  It is important for managers to be in contact with employees, but that contact should be respectful and should follow the established chain of command.  Since Mr. Spencer had acted as a type of troubleshooter in his previous position, he may have transferred some of that behavior into his new position and inadvertently caused distrust with the employees.

A good quote from Theodore Roosevelt is “The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”  In Mr. Spencer’s case, he wasn’t necessarily second guessing what his workers were doing; he was trying to learn the process and find ways to improve the process to save money.  His motivation was on point, but his actions were interpreted as micromanagement.

Micromanaging causes disruption and distrust in workers.  According to Richard D. White, PhD (2010), micromanagement is a compulsive behavioral pattern derived from insecurity and a need to control.  Extreme micromanagers oversee every detail of production and will not trust anything to the discretion of the employee.  Some behavioral practices of micromanagers include overseeing employees too closely, being too controlling, being obsessed with details, and demanding excessive project updates.

Micromanaging can cause employees to stop growing because they feel their efforts are not valued.  They feel as if the manager is looking over every aspect of their job and this will lead to low morale (Yost, 2013).   When a worker’s decisions are constantly questioned, they tend to stop making decisions and become less effective.  They will withhold knowledge or ideas because they distrust the manager’s motivation.  In a study of teachers and their reaction to micromanagement (Freitas, 2012), it was shown that micromanagement restricts the capacity of employees to make professional judgments and stunted the growth of the teachers as well as the students they were teaching.

Mr. Spencer did not intend to micromanage, but his actions were perceived as such and, thus had the same negative effect on the workforce.  He was seen as a dysfunctional leader (Armentrout, 1997).  Mr. Spencer needed to learn the production process and the issues present in this particular plant.  As a manager, he was responsible for the direction of the company and needed to study operations in order to make positive changes (Weyand, 1996).  Unfortunately, he didn’t communicate well with either the middle managers or the employees and his actions were interpreted as micromanaging.  Had Mr. Spencer taken the time to meet with the employees and allowed them to get to know him, he may have had a better outcome.  

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