Translating General Objectives into Specific Objectives: Organisational objectives, discussed so far, are of general and broad nature. They provide direction for action on continuous basis. However. these objectives are too general and, sometimes, intangible to be transformed into action. In order to make these operative, managers determine specific objectives within the framework of general objectives, which the organisation and its various units will seek to achieve within a specific period. For example, growth is one of the vital objectives of every organisation. This provides direction for undertaking various activities through which growth can be acheived. However, this is very general and does not provide clue about how much growth in what period of time has occured. In order to overcome this problem, organisations set specific objectives to be achieved in a specified time. For example, Tata Group has set growth objective in terms of doubling group turnover in four years and doubling net profit in three years. Such a specific objective provides sharp focus on the activities that may be undertaken to acheive this volume of growth.
Most of the specific objectives tend to be of short range in character and have definite time limits within which the organisation has to achieve these. Translation of general objectives into specific and operative objectives must fulfil two criteria:
1. Translation of general objectives into specific objectives should be tangible and meaningful.
As far as possible, these objectives should be easily measurable as organisational
perfomance is measured against these objectives.
2. Specific objectives should contribute to the achievement of general objectives. In fact,
time-bound objectives are set to make the achievement of general objectives more feasible. For example, long-term objectives involving plans for the distant future may fail to make individual objectives, objectives tangible and meaningful standards for control. This can be overcome by setting specific objectives at different stages of general long-term objectives.
Q.6. Discuss the situations under which an organisation is required to change its objectives.
Ans. Change in Objectives: Organisational objectives are not static but dynamic and these are modified over the period of time to have better alignment of the organisation with its environment. This process is known as objective or goal succession. This may happen in three specific conditions:
1. If existing objectives have been achieved and the organisation has no alternative, it must
adopt new objectives for its continuous existence.
2. If it is not desirable to pursue the existing objectives because of change in environment
and/or internal conditions, the organisation has to evolve new objectives.
3. If the existing objectives are such that they cannot be achieved, the organisation has to
modify or alter them.
The change in objectives may take the character of objective multiplication, expansion, or suutution of objectives depending on the situations. Many organisations have expanded their s over the period of time. For example, Reliance has expanded its objectives to include pet cal business alongwith its textile business and the contribution of petrochemicals to its revenues : is significantly more than textiles. Similarly, ITC Limited has added hotel, paper and themselves from a mere marketing organization less in its fold alongwith tobacco business. Many organisations have transformed Lever, Voltas etc. Similarly, many organisations have Substituted their original objectives with new example, the Red Cross society was established primarily for helping those who war or any other casualty. After the World Wars, this objective became meaningless Voss has now adopted the objective of preserving and improving public health. YMCA transform itself from religious and spiritual exercises to recreational and physical exercises because of changed social environment.
From management point of view, following factors are important to affect changes in organisational objectives:
Change in Aspiration Level of Management: Change in aspiration level of top management and other key strategists of the organisation requires a change in organisational objectives. In one way, the organisation becomes a means for satisfying personal needs and ambitions of promoters and top-level managers who perform the role of key decision makers. Their personal needs and ambitions are reflected in organisational objectives. Whenever there is any change in aspiration level, it affects the organisational objectives; there will be a change in the objectives or a change in priority ordering of objectives. For example, Dhirubhai Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, once commented that he had the ambition of being number one industrialist of the country. The result is he set highly ambitious objectives for Reliance and it grew at very fast rate. Change in organisational objectives caused by a change in aspiration level of management is more often found when a new team of executives or new chief executive from outside the organisation having no commitment to the past strategies and objectives takes over the reins of management.
Demand for Change by Coalition Groups: Coalition refers to combination of two or more individuals, groups, or organisations for common objectives. Thus, coalition is goal-oriented alliance among individuals, groups, or organisations with different interests and is formed to mobilise joint efforts. Coalition concept is very common in political parties where two or more political parties combine themselves to fight against the third. Business organisations have similar coalition. A business organisation is viewed as consisting of a number of groups such as owners, managers, suppliers, employees, government agencies etc. In this coalition, each group has a bargaining power and the result of complex bargaining process determines, to a great extent, the objectives of the organisation. Emergence of a certain interest group as more dominant and powerful, necessitates modification of organisational objectives. For example, change in ownership of a company, owner being a dominant group in the coalition, may necessitate change in the companies objectives.