1. Policy Objective: The overall policy objective is to increase industrial production! We then ask: How is this to be accomplished? That brings us to the next lower objective, the strategic objective.
2. Strategic Objective: One way that the country is trying to increase industrial production, the policy objective, is by producing ’50 kW of electric power. This is the strategic objective for the project. Of course, there may be other strategic objectives and additional projects that also support the overall policy objective. Again we ask: ‘How is the 50 kW of electric power to be obtained? The answer takes us to the next lower level of objective in the hierarchy, i.e. the project objective.
3. Project Objective: The project objective in most cases is the same as the deliverable for the project. In this case, it is to ‘build a new power plant. Asking: ‘How is the power plant to be built?’, again takes us to the next lower level of objective, the input objective.
4. Input Objective: The input objective relates primarily to the resources and conditions that are required to accomplish the project. For the power project, they consist of a $10 million contract land for the power plant and necessary labor’ as well as expertise.
Q.3. Give a brief comparison between objectives and goals.
Ans. Objectives and Goals: A Comparison
Objectives and goals are the end results which an organization strives for. Since there may be different ways in expressing end results like market leadership (a qualitative measurement), or a certain percentage of increase in sales in a particular year (a quantitative measurement), the question is: for which result the term objectives should be used and for which result the term goal should be used. This problem arises because these two terms are used in variety of ways, where many of them are conflicting
First, these terms are used interchangeably meaning one and the same thing. Therefore, there is no difference between the two. To make distinction between long-term and short-term orientations, these prefixes are used either with objectives or goals. Second, some authors use goals as the long-term results which an organization seeks to achieve and objectives as the short-term results.
Third, some writers reverse the usage referring to objectives as the desired long-term results and goals as the desired short-term results. This latter view is, however, more prevalent and we will take this view in our discussion. From this point of view, Ackoff has defined both the terms as follows:
“Desired states or outcomes are objectives. Goals are objectives that are scheduled for attainment during planned period!
Thus, objectives and goals defined in this way convey two different concepts. The distinction between these two concepts is important because management needs both. The difference between objectives and goals may be drawn in terms of the following four dimensions:
1. Time Frame: Objectives are timeless, enduring, and unending; goals are temporal, time-phased, and intended to be superceded by subsequent goals. Because objectives relate to the ongoing activities of an organisation, their achievement tends to be open-ended in the sense of not being bounded by time. For example, the survival objective of a business organisation is never completely attained since failure is always a future possibility.
2. Specificity: Objectives are stated in broad, general terms, dealing with matters of image, style and self-perception. These are aspirations to be worked in the future. Goals are much more specific, stated in terms of a particular result that will be accomplished by a specific data. In the above example, survival as an objective is not very specific because it leads to different interpretations of the state of survival. On the other hand, goals can be expressed in terms of say achievement of 10 per cent growth in the net sales in the next year. This is more specific and time bound.
3. Focus: Objectives are usually stated in terms of some relevant environment which is external to the organisation; goals are more internally focused and carry important implications about how resources of the organisation are utilised or will be utilised in future. Therefore, objectives are more generalised statements like maintaining market leadership, striving continuously for technological superiority etc. A goal may imply a resource commitment requiring the organisation to use those resources in order to achieve the desired outcomes.
4. Measurement: Both objectives and goals can be stated in terms which are quantitatively measured but the character of measurement is different. Generally quantitative objectives are set in relative terms. For example, Reliance Industries has put its objectives like this: to acquire top position among the Indian companies. This objective may not be achieved in any one year, but it is timeless and externally focused, providing a continuing challenge for the company.