A person who is driven by fear and anxiety into mettling with others' work. Micromanagers are bosses or peers who constantly seek to usurp the decision rights of others. Their excessively insecure and competitive nature causes them to react negatively to ideas and efforts not their own. If they possess authority, they will aggressively use it to control the way work gets done around them. They are typically focused on process rather than results. They criticize others far more frequently than they praise them.
A micromanager is motivated by a fear of receiving blame for "mistakes" made on their watch. They will try to reduce risk by squelching the initiative of others and they will try to insure no mistakes are being made by insisting on reviewing and "approving" work. Frequently, they will make unnecessary requests for more work and will provide repeated edits.
Almost all micromanagers are workaholics with codependent relationships in the organization. They surround themselves with bureaucrats when they can. Their relationship to their boss is far more important to them than their relationship to their staff or peers. If a micromanager has been in their position for a long time and are perceived as successful, then the organizational disfunction is institutional. Many organizations succeed by utilizing micromanagers to "ensure quality" or to make other employees depart.
The typical experience for an employee working for a micromanager is repleat with frustration and runs the risk of demoralizing the individual and impacting their self esteem. Confident employees of micromanagers will often develop effective means for managing upward, but the majority of staff who are micromanaged will modify their behavior in negative ways:
1) slacking - avoiding the manager and reducing output
2) facilitating - giving up decision rights and following orders
3) rebelling - pushing back in career-destroying ways
Micromanagers know the rules and are very good at avoiding putting themselves into a position where they will be vulnerable to disciplinary action. Though their actions reduce productivity, their long list of efforts that they control looks highly productive to their superiors. Though not all sycophants are micromanagers, all micromanagers are sycophants.
Workers faced with a micromanaging boss would be well advised to develop a clear, thorough strategy for coping with the situation. Leaving the position or the company should be viewed as a reasonable solution.
My boss is a classic kiss-up-kick-down micromanager who won't allow me to do my job without constant interference.