Q.4. Discuss about the role of objectives.
Ans. Role of Objectives: Every organisation has some objectives, either specified or unspecified. Clearly defined objectives govern behaviour of organisation members, and as such, every organisation should specify its objectives clearly. However, contingency approach recognises that in some situations, either it may not be possible to set specific objectives or it is not desirable to set the objectives. For example, contingency approach suggests that:
‘In some situations, it is difficult or impossible to set goals. In fact, many managers realise that some of their most important planning takes place without even explicitly considering specific goals.
Such situations require directional objective setting which identifies preferred style of action for the organisation or individual and an arena for activities. The emphasis switches from carefully formulating what objective is to be accomplished to consideration of a manager’s thrust. This approach is more flexible than traditional objective-setting approach and suggests that under three conditions, is not desirable or possible to set objectives: (i) in the formative period of an organisation’s development when it is too early to set objectives; (ii) when the environment in which the organisation operates unstable or uncertain owing to fast social, economic, technological, legal or other changes; and (111 when members cannot build enough trust or agreement to decide upon a common objective.
No doubt, in these situations, it may not be very desirable or possible to set obiectives not all situations are like this. Specific objectives are appropriate in cases marked by the for conditions:
1. Managers want to narrow the focus and efforts of organisational members.
2. The environment is relatively stable and certain,
3. There are severe time and resource limitations,
4. Organisational members require more specific conditions as a result of low tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty.
Objectives should be specified because they perform a number of functions. For example Drucker maintains that objectives are essential in all key areas where performance and results directly contribute to the growth and survival of business for enabling managers to: (i) organise and explain the whole range of business phenomena by such objectives; (ii) verify the objective in actual business operation; (iii) predict employee behaviour; (iv) vouchsafe the soundness of decisions; and (v) improve their performance. The major functions and contributions of objectives are as follows:
1. Defining an Organisation: Every organisation works in an environment consisting of several forces. These forces provide both opportunities and threats. It orders to take the best possible from the environment, it must define itself, that is what kind of company it is, or what kind of business it does. This relates the organisation with its environment. For example, the following descriptions provide the kind of company each is or the business it does.
Modern Food Industries Limited: Manufacturing and marketing of nutritional foods to the public.
India Photographic Company Limited: A quality-oriented photographic system appealing to the consumer who desires instant photography.
Mire Electronics Limited: The provision of high quality product in the area of electronic entertainment.
Such a definition of the company in relation to its environment provides a clear thinking for the type of efforts the company should make so that it achieves its objectives. The failure to define the nature of the company based on its objectives and environment leads to confusion about the way in which the company wants to move.
2. Directions for Decision-making: Objectives provide the directions for decision-making in various areas of the organization’s operation. The objectives set the limits and prescribe the areas in which the managers can make decision. Since there is no ambiguity about the ends to be achieved, managers are quite clear about the expectations which the organization has from its functions. From this point of view, clearly specified objectives serve a number of purposes:
(a) Clear definition of objectives encourages unified planning. Objectives embody the basic
idea and fundamental theories as to what the organization is trying to achieve. This is necessary to give the meaning and direction to the work of the people associated with the organization. Such objectives are the focus for different individuals and unifying effect arises when various plans prepared by several people are adjusted to a common objective. (b) Objectives work as a motivating force by providing direction to organizational members. Individuals have framework to fit their personal needs with organizational objectives. A sense of accomplishment of meeting objectives is sired by all individuals. Thus, fulfilling of objectives itself is a source of motivation for the people in the organization.
(c) Voluntary coordination, an essential feature of the organizational objectives, is achieved easily if the objectives are clearly specified and mutually agreed upon. People tend to work within their own areas of discretion and adjust according to the needs of others if they know their own and others objectives.