Objectives are needed in every area where performance and results directly and vitally affect the survival and prosperity of the business. Discuss this statement and identify those key objectives considered to be most important to a business.
Objectives describe something that has to be accomplished – a point to be aimed at. An objective is the end towards which all activities in an organization are aimed at i.e. the desired end of every activity. Corporate objectives specify what the organization is meant to accomplish. Objectives can be either long term or short term.
The setting of objectives is a major part of corporate planning. Strategic objectives are normally set for all the major functions of the organization and they sum up what the organization intends to be during the foreseeable future. Tactical objectives are set in the short term and in quantifiable and specific terms to help in achieving the strategic objectives.
Setting objectives in every area offers the following advantages to businesses:
• Enables managers to see their priorities clearly.
• Provides specific targets to work for.
• Provides a sound basis for performance measurement.
• Provides useful material for assessing the training needs of managers.
• Provides specific direction to individual efforts and activities of the organization.
• Provides mechanisms of control and therefore helps the initiation of corrective measures.
• Provides motivation to those given the task of accomplishing them.
• Achievement of objectives lead to job satisfaction.
• The objectives are a basis of decentralization and delegation.
Objectives also have their setbacks:
• The process of setting objectives is time consuming and setting verifiable goals is difficult
• Conditions in the environment change too frequently for some objectives to work
• Inflexibility – subordinates may stick to goals set even when conditions change.
• Failure to give guidelines objective setters leads to failed plans.
• Some objectives are in-appropriated and unattainable.
Peter Drucker in ‘The Practice of Management’ suggests the following classification of objectives that cover all areas:
• Profitability – The primary objective of a profit earning business is generally accepted as the maximization of profits.
• Innovation – The management must decide whether it intends to lead in developing technology and products, to follow other companies or to design customer needs.
• Market standing – Objectives will include the products which will be sold in the market.
• Productivity – Targets should be set in terms of output in relation to manpower, plant, material yields and costs.
• Manager Performance and development – objectives will cover matters such as quality ad availability of management, measures of performance, training, communication etc.
• Financial and physical resources – Finance is needed to make the other objectives possible and the following must be considered:
• The amount of capital to be raised from outside sources.
• The sources to be used.
• The form in which capital will bee raised.
• Public responsibility – here objectives may relate to:
• Preservation and improvement of the environment.
• Consumer protection.
• Improvement of conditions of work for employees.