Ten Questions about MBO

by Robert Ford, Frank McLaughlin, James Nixdorf



Since the development and popularization of the concept of management by objectives (MBO), it has become one of the more widely discussed ideas in management. MBO is currently defined as a managerial system that seeks to involve the individual employee through an interactive process of goal setting, participation, and feedback. As applications of this system have increased, so has the literature describing the problems, benefits, and general experiences of either those implementing the system or those affected by it. The popularity of MBO suggests that those programs which have been implemented have been highly successful. The article presents a project which was designed to answer some of the more commonly asked questions by gathering data from managers who had experience with an MBO program. The responses yield valuable insights about the organizations best suited for MBO, the problems and benefits, and other important information needed by those considering the use of MBO or those wondering how their program matches others.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us