Objectives and goals try to translate this rhetoric into concrete action plans in the short term. In view of the growing importance of corporate social actions in ensuring a better standard of living to various sections of society in recent times – a separate section is also added at the end throwing light on the theoretical controversies , practical difficulties and current practices in this field.
An objective indicates the result that the organization expects to achieve in the long run. It is an end result, the end points something that you aim for and try to reach. It is a desired result towards which behavior is directed in an organization. The organization may or may not reach the desired state, but the chances of doing so are greater if the objectives are framed and understood properly. Objectives are the products of specific concrete thinking. They commit persons and organization to verifiable accomplishments. Again, objectives determine the scope of future events. They provide the spotlight on the routes over which activities are organized. They serve as reference points to concentrate resources and efforts. They determine what action to take today to obtain results tomorrow. Goals and targets are more precise and expressed in specific terms. In this section we will refer to only objectives assuming that these include the goals as well.
They are stated in precise terms as quantitatively as possible. The emphasis in goals is on measurement of progress towards the attainment of objectives. Goals have the following features they: 1) are derived from objectives , 2) offer a standard for measuring performance 3) are expressed in concrete terms 4) are time bound and work oriented (Ansoff).
Role of Objectives
Objectives serve the following functions:
Legitimacy: Objectives describe the purpose of the organization so that people know what it stands for and will accept its existence and continuance. Thus, Ford sells American transportation Chrysler sells know how and Godrej sells quality products. Objectives help to legitimize the presence of organization in its environment. Now the organization can emphasise its uniqueness, identity and its raison d’ etre.
Direction: Objectives provide guidelines for organizational efforts. They keep attention focused on common purposes. Once objectives are formulated they become the polar star by which the voyage is navigated. Every activity is directed towards the objectives every individual contributes to meet the goals. Without seeing the target a manager would be like a blindfolded archer expending useless effort and creating havoc.
Coordination: Objectives keep activities on the right track. They make behavior in organizations more rational more coordinated and thus more effective because everyone knows the accepted goals to work towards. In setting effective goals managers help members at all levels of the organization to understand how they can best achieve their own goals by directing their behavior towards, the goals of the organizations.
Benchmarks for success: Objectives serve as performance standards against which actual performance may be checked. They provide a benchmark for assessment. They help in the control of human effort in an organization.
Motivation: Goals are motivators. The setting of a goal that is both specific and challenging leads to an increase in performance because it makes it clear to the individual what he is supposed to do. He can compare how well he is doing now versus how well he has done in the past and in some instance how well he is performing in comparison to others. According to Latham and Yukl, goal specificity enables the workers to determine how to translate effort into successful performance by choosing an appropriate action plan.