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Micromanagement can hinder performance, study says

Posted on August 15th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

A human resources administration has a lot of tasks and people it must support, from payrolling services to hiring to employee development.

When it comes to training programs and worker services, though, many HR departments forget to target management and executive positions, which are key to building a successful, high-performing business.

One of the biggest crimes managers continue to commit is micromanagement. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that performance suffers when individuals believe themselves to be under constant surveillance.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, tracked 130 students in three control groups – pressure monitoring, low pressure and outcome pressure – and found that when individuals feel they're being watched, they're more likely to focus on the immediate task rather than the outcome.

"Pressure hurts performance if it leads you to pay attention in a way that is bad for the particular task you're doing," Marci DeCaro, assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at the university, told MSNBC.

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