Great post from the folks at 15Five. If you want to find out how to empower knowledge workers to do what they do best, this blog post and Dr. Daniel Pink's book contain the recipe.
Running a company can often feel like caring for a newborn child. There is a natural and healthy fear that arises that if you are not eternally vigilant then something bad will happen. With a baby, this is called good parenting. With a company, this is called micromanagement and it is universally resented by all employees.
In physics, the observer effect states that observing a phenomenon has an impact on what is being observed. For example, when using an electron microscope to view subatomic particles, the light from the microscope impacts the movement of those particles. Since scientific methods require objectivity, the influence of observation can call the entire experiment into question.
By micromanaging, people are only driven to perform in the hope that you will one day leave them alone.
The flotsam and jetsam of a techie mind...