SETTING OBJECTIVES IN MANAGEMENT

Objectives are the ends for the achievement of which managerial activities are directed. Objectives are the pre-requisites of planning. It constitutes the purpose, the attainment of which is necessary for the business. These are the standing plans of the business. These are not only helpful in planning but also in other managerial functions like organising, directing and controlling. Clear cut objectives helps in proper decision making and in achieving better results. The setting up of unrealistic objective may waste the efforts and time of the employees of the organization. So, while Setting Objectives in Management , following points must be considered in the mind:

  • OBJECTIVES SHOULD BE CLEARLY EXPRESSED

There should be clear goals or targets expressed. There must be no ambiguity in the language in which they are communicated. The employees of the organization must not have any confusion in mind regarding what is to be achieved. A good objective is that which is clear and provides right direction to go for its attainment.

  • IDENTIFICATION OF UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS

An objective is made on various underlying assumptions. All such assumptions should be identified and interpreted in a discerning manner as they affect the working of the organization.

  • REALISTIC

Objective set must be realistic and attainable to achieve. They should be made by keeping in view all the internal as well as external factors of business environment. This should also be ensured that the corporate objective set is compatible to the individual objectives of the employees.

  • PRECISE, MEASURABLE AND VERIFIABLE

The objective should be precise and concise so that everybody can understand it well. It should be measurable also so that performance of every employee can be assessed easily. Also they should be verifiable so that actual performance can be compared with the standards set.

  • CLASSIFICATION OF OBJECTIVES

Objectives may be classified as primary, secondary, individual and social. These should be classified properly on the basis of their importance. These should be supplemented by the sub-goals in all the key departments.

  • KEY FACTORS AND COORDINATION

The key factors are the limiting factors which must be considered while setting up the objectives. Lack of coordination between the departments will lead to exploitation of limiting factors and partial accomplishment of goals.

  • FLEXIBILITY

Business environment keeps on changing. The objectives are made on the basis of forecasts made by the planning experts. A good objective is one which is capable of being modified in the changing environment which means it must be flexible. A flexible objective can make only the organization able to exploit the opportunities arising out of the dynamic business environment.

The quality of an objective can be verified by the SMART test which is as follows:

S– Specific

M– Measurable

A– Appropriate

R– Realistic

ADVANTAGES OF OBJECTIVE

The following are the benefits or advantages of laying down objectives:

  • UNIFIED PLANNING

Various plans are prepared by several people in the organization. These plans are consistent to the objectives of the organization. Then, these objectives encourage unified planning.

  • INDIVIDUAL MOTIVATION

The objectives of an organization specifies the purpose of each job and fix the individual goals along with the overall organizational goals. Then, automatically, the individual accepts the organizational goals as desirable and attempts to achieve them.  

  • COORDINATION

Whenever the individual accepts the organizational goal as desirable, the possibility of getting coordination is very easy.

  • CONTROL

Objectives provide the yardstick for performance. The actual performance is compared with the standard performance. This will facilitate the control process.

  • BASIS FOR DECENTRALISATION

Department-wise or section-wise goals are fixed in order to achieve common objectives of an organization. Thus, objectives provide the basis for decentralization.

DIFFICULTIES IN SETTING OBJECTIVES

Management faces various difficulties in setting up the objectives which are as follows:

  • DIFFICULT TO RECONCILE

The objectives of different fields are sometimes contradictory which imposes the problem of their reconciliation. The object of increasing productivity may be achieved by making improvement in the working of the employees. On the other hand, the disciplinary action taken on the employees for not improving their work may cause dissatisfaction to them.

  • DIFFICULT TO DEVISE MEANS

Another problem is to devise the suitable means for achieving the objectives. Most of the times the ambitious goals are set which are not attainable with the available resources. These objectives become the source of frustration and leads to losses to the firm.   

  • DIFFICULT TO DEFINE

The objective may be qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative objective is difficult to define as it cannot be put into measurable or quantitative terms. These are customer satisfaction. Employee morale etc.

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