Objectives may be defined as the goals which an organisation tries to achieve. Objectives are described as the end- points of planning. According to Koontz and O’Donnell, “an objective is a term commonly used to indicate the end point of a management programme.” Objectives constitute the purpose of the enterprise and without them no intelligent planning can take place.
Objectives are, therefore, the ends towards which the activities of the enterprise are aimed. They are present not only the end-point of planning but also the end towards which organizing, directing and controlling are aimed. Objectives provide direction to various activities. They also serve as the benchmark of measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise. Objectives make every human activity purposeful. Planning has no meaning if it is not related to certain objectives.
Features of Objectives
• The objectives must be predetermined.
• A clearly defined objective provides the clear direction for managerial effort.
• Objectives must be realistic.
• Objectives must be measurable.
• Objectives must have social sanction.
• All objectives are interconnected and mutually supportive.
• Objectives may be short-range, medium-range and long-range.
• Objectives may be constructed into a hierarchy.
Advantages of Objectives
• Clear definition of objectives encourages unified planning.
• Objectives provide motivation to people in the organization.
• When the work is goal-oriented, unproductive tasks can be avoided.
• Objectives provide standards which aid in the control of human efforts in an organization.
• Objectives serve to identify the organization and to link it to the groups upon which its existence depends.
• Objectives act as a sound basis for developing administrative controls.
• Objectives contribute to the management process: they influence the purpose of the organization, policies, personnel, leadership as well as managerial control.
Process of Setting Objectives
Objectives are the keystone of management planning. It is the most important task ofmanagement. Objectives are required to be set in every area which directly and vitally effectsthe survival and prosperity of the business. In the setting of objectives, the following points
should be borne in mind.
• Objectives are required to be set by management in every area which directly and vitallyaffects the survival and prosperity of the business.
• The objectives to be set in various areas have to be identified.
• While setting the objectives, the past performance must be reviewed, since past performance indicates what the organization will be able to accomplish in future.
• The objectives should be set in realistic terms i.e., the objectives to be set should be reasonable and capable of attainment.
• Objectives must be consistent with one and other.
• Objectives must be set in clear-cut terms.
• For the successful accomplishment of the objectives, there should be effective communication.