By Bronwyn Fryer
1. Is George guilty of micromanaging? Why/why not?
Yes, George is guilty of micromanagement. Micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes and controls the work of subordinates. This case provides many examples of how George micromanages Shelley and her staff. One example involving micromanagement is when George joined a conversation with Shelly and her staff and underlined what is important for the company and what he wants them to do. Another example is when George saw Shelley in the hallway and looked at her notes about press release. He didn’t like the attitude of the title so he made it clear that he wants her to change it. Shelley also thinks that her boss, George, is micromanaging her work. Shelley complained to Laura, her friend, that George “was in her face”. When George asked her for a meeting, she commented: “What’s he going to have a problem with this time?” During the meeting Shelley even told George: “I really don’t do very well if I feel like someone’s micromanaging me”. Shelley is not the only one who has this opinion. Rich Hannon, Retronics’s project manager, also commented on George’s involving style: “Hands-on isn’t the beginning of it” and continued “He’s elbow deep in the stuff”. George doesn’t only implement micromanagement style at work but also at home. George observes every single detail around him and wants to control the situation. He once saw that his three years old son wanted to pore himself a glass of milk from a full carton. Right away, George filled a plastic cup with milk and placed it next to his son. George also wants to control the order of his family’s activities: “Eat your dinner and then you can finish up the homework” he said. These are only a few examples of George’s micromanagement style. 2. What influence tactic(s) and/or base(s) of power does George use with Shelley… George uses mix of expert and legitimate power. Expert power is an example of personal power; the power based on charisma and interpersonal skills. Expert power is the ability to influence others based on his/her own expertise, special skills and knowledge. In this case study George is described as “a seasoned executive with impressive engineering credentials and significant experience in enterprise-scale systems and operations”. George is also using legitimate power, power based on individual authority in the organization, to control those who are lower in the organization’s hierarchy. George shows his disapprobation when Shelley didn’t make the suggested changes: “I asked you to work on the tone of this yesterday, did I not?” Another time when George used legitimate power was when he insisted on issuing at least two press releases each month even though “there wasn’t any real news to report”. George also uses mix of rational persuasion and legitimate tactic to influence Shelley. George presents logical arguments and supporting evidence to show reasonability of request (rational persuasion tactic) and also relies on his authority position, as the CEO of Retronics, to establish the acceptance of request. The conversation in the company’s hallway illustrates using both tactics. George, after looking at Shelley’s notes, suggested stronger title attitude and explained that it could bring bigger press exposure. At the same time he sounded very persuasive saying: “I’d really like to see this copy do two things: one, emphasize the innovation and, two, exude confidence”. The next day, when Shelley didn’t make the suggested changes and also didn’t proofread the press release, George strongly commented: “Look, I count on you to get these things right. I don’t have time to worry about them myself”. Shelley’s reaction on these tactics was not positive. She felt “disgusted and depressed”. After George’s comments about her mistakes and not complying with his suggestions,...
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