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Micromanagers as a Special Type of Corporate Psychopath

News See also Chambers2004 Toxic Managers Bulling Manipulation Psychology Etc

The older I get, the more aware I become of a salient fact: considerable proportion of managers, especially female managers,  are borderline personalities. The most common problem seems to be micromanagement. Micromanagement is a unique blend of bulling, manipulation and over-control. Paranoid and incompetent micromanagers are one of the most the most toxic type of corporate psychopaths.

As insightful page The toxic manager in the office while depicting more general category of psychopaths catches the main features quite well:

 "We've all encountered them. Moody, aggressive, unpredictable, incompetent, always blaming other people. A compulsive liar with a Jekyll and Hyde nature, the individual, male or female, is always charming and plausible when management are around."

Paranoid and incompetent  micromanagers (PIMM) are the type of micromanagers who are quite helpful in preventing staff doing their jobs and destroying well-being of those two have a misfortune to report to those beasts. Unpredictable outbursts of hostility, conflicting demands, inconsistent orders, random decision-making, inability to plan strategically, inability and unwillingness to communicate and co-operate, obstructive ... the list goes on.

There is only one book that is somewhat useful in understanding micromanagers. This is Chambers book. It is far from being perfect and the author is sitting between two benches. But is does contain some useful information, which is quite rare in self-help books of this genre.

After some conversations with paranoid incompetent micromanager (PIMM), you feel like you left the ring after boxing match facing opponent twice heavier then you and not playing by the rules. Everything will be your fault. You have a "negative attitude", you're a "poor performer", you're "not up to the job", and so on. If you get as far as alerting personnel or human resources management, it'll be a "personality clash". In truth, this is a projection of the bully's own negative attitude, poor performance, and incompetence.

In Brutal Bosses and Their Prey (1996, Riverhead Books), Harvey Hornstein identifies six variations on Simon Legree:


Old News ;-)

In Brutal Bosses and Their Prey (1996, Riverhead Books), Harvey Hornstein identifies six variations on Simon Legree:

My Way or the Highway The Micromanagement Survival Guide Books

Harry E. Chambers

Reviewer: Bill Lampton, Ph.D. "The Complete Communicator" (Gainesville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
Having spent twenty-three years in senior management positions, I know that every employed person needs this book. Those who micromanage others will learn how damaging their supervisory straightjacket is to morale and productivity. Those who report to micromanagers will learn tactful strategies for changing their employer's habits and expectations.

Harry Chambers writes with clarity and humor. Frequently, he illustrates his points with case studies, survey reports and real-life incidents.

During my career, I endured several micromanagers, with some of them bordering on micromania. Too bad this book wasn't available then. I would have been better equipped to respond to their annoying, intrusive styles.

I recommend My Way or The Highway enthusiastically. As the subtitle promises, this book serves as The Micromanagement Survival Guide.

IT Service Management From Hell A Guide to Worst Practices

by Brian Johnson, Paul Wilkinson

BOOKs: How to Manage Your Boss: Developing the Perfect Working Relationship by Ros Jay, Prentice Hall, 12.99, ISBN 0273659316

How to Work for an Idiot: Survive and Thrive Without Killing Your Boss by John Hoover, Career Press, 7.36, ISBN 1564147045

Misbehavior in Organizations Theory, Research, and Management (Applied Psychology Series) Books Yoav Vardi,Ely Weitz

Antisocial Behavior in Organizations Books Robert A. Giacalone,Giacalone

Coping with Toxic Managers, Subordinates ...And Other Difficult People Using Emotional Intelligence to Survive and Prosper Books Roy H. Lubit

"Toxic Managers" good for your health, December 14, 2003
Reviewer: "ronala" (Princeton, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
Beginning with its title, a real "grabber," Dr. Roy Lubit's new book "Coping with Toxic Managers, ..." holds your interest as it exhaustively and brilliantly organizes, classifies, describes and analyzes the entire spectrum of toxic behaviors to be found in the workplace. Any workplace. The book deals comprehensively with toxic behaviors from peers and subordinates as well as superiors. I think it will be recognized and appreciated as an invaluable contribution to the literature. The references alone are worth the price.

If that were all Dr. Lubit did that would be enough to distinguish this book, but he also gives detailed prescriptions for dealing with every type of behavior discussed in the book. These are often presented in the context of case studies and examples that make fascinating and satisfying narratives in themselves and allow Dr. Lubit's insights to really sink in.

Dr. Lubit, an experienced and recognized forensic psychiatrist and holder of an MD and a Ph.D. from Harvard, does an outstanding job of marshalling an array of toxic behaviors and codifying it in a manner that is understandable enough to be mastered by a college student yet profound enough and broad enough to be of great value to other professionals and to his peers. This book is scientific yet should prove of practical value to anyone who needs to manage, understand or otherwise deal with any business organization or, indeed, almost any human group in modern America. It does so in terms that anyone can understand and put to use. "Coping with Toxic Managers . . ." is one of those truly rare books which combines accessibility with depth, and I recommend it highly. Ronald Blum, Ph.D.


The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

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Last modified: March 12, 2019