Article Information

Setting Goals in Management by Objectives
Tosi, Henry L., John R. Rizzo, and Stephen J. Carroll
12/4  (Summer 1970): 70-78

Management by Objectives (MBO) is a process in which members of complex organizations, working in conjunction with one another, identify common goals and coordinate their efforts toward achieving them. It emphasizes the future and change, since an objective or goal is an end state, or a condition to be achieved or have in effect at some future time. The emphasis is on where the organization is going, the what and the how of its intended accomplishments. Objectives can be thought of as statements of purpose and direction, formalized into a system of management. They may be long-range or short-range. They may be general, to provide direction to an entire organization, or they may be highly specific to provide detailed direction for a given individual. One purpose of MBO is to facilitate the derivation of specific from general objectives, seeing to it that objectives at all levels in the organization are meaningfully located structurally and linked to each other. Sets of objectives for an organizational unit are the bases which determine its activities. A set of objectives for an individual determines his job, and can be thought of as a different way to provide a job description.


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