You can analyze the challenges your business faces in numerous ways depending on your orientation or perspective. Some business owners adopt a macro-level approach -- a broad, big-picture view -- and others focus on the details, with a micro-level orientation. Neither is better than the other. Rather, a combination of the two theoretical orientations can yield a fuller, richer picture of your business' strengths and weaknesses in the real world.
The micro-level perspective focuses on small details and daily interactions. It's the perspective you gain when you closely home in on an individual problem and try to establish the elements of your business practices that contribute to that problem. When you track an individual worker's performance, examine the interactions between a worker and customer or offer training on a specific task, you're focusing on micro-level processes.
The macro-level perspective considers the full panorama of the business. Macro-level issues typically incorporate several smaller micro-level issues. When you notice that your business's profits have diminished, that you're getting negative reviews online or that employee morale seems low, you're taking a macro-level perspective. Macro-level analyses tend to be more philosophical and less specific, but they can incorporate data and statistics.
No clear line of demarcation separates macro- and micro-level perspectives. Micro-level problems typically lead to macro-level ones, and solving a macro-level problem often requires managers to examine micro-level challenges. For example, when a manager notices that profits have diminished, she'll need to examine why, and she may find that the business is doing poorly at customer service. This can then require a micro-level investigation of customer-staff interactions.
Good managers adopt both micro-level and macro-level perspectives where appropriate. Managers frequently begin with macro-level issues such as diminished profits or decreased returns on investments. Solving these problems requires determining the micro-level issues that do and don't contribute to the problem. Managers who focus only on mundane everyday interactions without examining the larger picture are often pejoratively referred to as micromanagers.