Improving Management by Objectives: A Diagnostic Change Program

by Henry Tosi, Stephen Carroll

Fall 1973

Volume 16
Issue 1

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The article focuses on improving management by objectives. Management by Objectives (MBO) is basically a process in which the superior and subordinate arrive at goals for the subordinate which are derived firm, or related to, the goals of the superior. Many have written on the subject. As a process, MBO has been attributed the advantages of clarifying responsibilities, providing more objective criteria for performance appraisal, improving planning and control and improving superior/subordinate relationships. It has been, depending on who is using it, an evaluation tool, a method of organizational analysis, a technique for organizational development and a way to increase the participation and influence of subordinates. Most of these characteristics have apparently been attributed to it on the basis of extremely limited analysis of MBO. Most are derived from clinical assessments by its practitioners. This article is an attempt to assess more systematically what happens when an organization moves into MBO, finds some problems and attempts to correct them.

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