The ill-effects of micro management notwithstanding, it can find uses in many situations and circumstances. Such a management style works when the nature of work is hyper-critical and precise, and adherence to the set rules and procedures is of utmost importance. In such situations, the risks of non compliance might be fatal. For instance, a security background check might require following set procedures, and an employee undertaking the check applying subjective judgments. They may also take the initiative to try a different route that does not meet legal requirements, which can have serious implications. In such cases, where the procedure is as important as the result, subordinates need a constant vigil to ensure due compliance with the procedure.
Micro management finds use in certain general circumstances for a limited period, such as when a new employee lacks in sufficient skills, competencies, or experience. In such cases, managers would do well to closely monitor them until they learn the ropes and gain confidence. Similarly, new managers may tend to deeply involve themselves in a minute level of operations for a limited period, to get an understanding of what actually takes place, and gain an opportunity to involve with subordinates deeply to assess their strengths and weaknesses. The approach may also be useful during times of crisis, when the need of the hour is powerful directives, and resolving the issue requires strong leadership. Allowing autonomy at such stages may do more harm than good. As a rule of thumb, this style finds use whenever an autocratic style of leadership becomes relevant.
At times, a subordinate might demonstrate moral or ethical turpitude, and the manager, in an effort to ensure integrity, might closely monitor them, to give an opportunity to make amends before taking punitive action. Conversely, this approach finds use as a tactic for eliminating unwanted staff. The management may set unreachable standards, and then selectively invoke failure to achieve such standards as grounds for termination, or force them to quit on their own, burdened by the stressful work environment. The court may however regard such actions as constructive discharge should such employees challenge such dismissals in court.
In short, micro management works, but only when applied judiciously and with restraint, and preferably with the workforce made aware of its necessity. Managers would do well to implement it as a tool for exceptional circumstances rather than as their default operating style.