organizational goals

Organizational Goals: Definition, Types, Purpose, and More

What is Organizational Goals?

Organizational goals are what an organization wants to achieve shortly. Goal achievement is the destination of an organization. The goals of the organization help every member of an organization to understand where the organization is going.

Goals are objectives or aims for which an organization has formed. Setting the goals of an organization is the initial function of the management. Goals are what an organization comes into existence.

Goals give meaning and purpose to an organization. They determine the scope of future activities and serve as a reference point to concentrate on resources and efforts. They determine the action to be taken at the present to obtain results in the future.

Focusing on Goal
Goal Focusing

May organizations have several kinds of goals based on the scope and nature of the business, thus the managers of all levels must involve in setting goals through the optimum use of resources and putting appropriate effort into it to achieve goals.

If an organization is a business organization, the main goal of this organization is to earn maximum profit by supplying goods and services to people. Similarly, if an organization is a government organization, may the main motive of this organization is to involve in public welfare activities where its service concerns with the public welfare.

While setting the organizational goals, the manager has to must focus on the terms mission, purpose, objectives, goals, and target that are using interchangeably in management. However, there is a slight difference between them. The mission is a broad term and it represents the philosophy and ideology of the top management. It focuses on long-term goals, which are generally difficult to achieve. Purpose relates to the reason for an organization’s existence. It answers the question of why an organization is formed. The objective indicates the endpoint and focuses on the entire organization. However, objectives, goals, and targets are simultaneously used in management practice.


According to Amitai Etzioni, “Organizational goal is the desired state of affairs that organizations attempt to realize.”

According to Moorhead and Griffin, ” Organizational goals are the objectives that management seeks to achieve in pursuing the firm’s purpose.”

According to Steers, Ungson, and Mowday, “Organization goal is a desired state of affairs that indicates where the organization is going; a frame of reference for understanding and evaluating what an organization does.”

According to Kast and Rosenzwing, “Goals represent the desire future conditions that individuals, groups, and organizations strive to achieve.”

From the above definitions, it may be concluded that an organizational goal is a desired future state of affairs that management seeks to achieve. It must be specific, measurable, and set for a definite time period.

Based on the time frame, organizational goals are of three types corporate or strategic, tactical, and operational goals.

3 Types of Organizational Goals

#1 Strategic Goals or Corporate Goals

Strategic goals or corporate goals are long-term goals focusing on broad terms. This goal is developed by top-level management.

A strategic goal is a fundamental goal of an organization, based on this goal, various short-term goals are developed to get near the organizational missions.

#2 Tactical Goals

Generally, tactical goals are set by the middle-level managers but some times it is also set by the top-level managers.

This goal is developed to achieve the strategic goals of an organization and the time frame of this goal is upto 12-24 months depending on organizational goals.

#3 Operational Goals

Operational goals are very short-term goals. These goals are set by lower-level managers as well as developed by middle-level managers for operational-level employees.

It deals with short-term issues to achieve tactical goals.

Purpose/Importance of Organizational Goals

Every organization sets goals to achieve the desired destinations. Goals are the basis for functioning the organizations. Following are the main purposes/importance of organizational goals;

#1 To Provide Guidance and Unified Direction

Goals are the basis for the future performance of an organization. Managers of organizations provide proper guidance and unified direction to their employees by considering their goals. This may help every employee/member of an organization to understand where the organization is heading for.

#2 To Promote Good Planning

Goals are the basis for planning. Good planning focuses on goals. The manager formulates corporate, tactical, and operational plans by considering organizational goals. Organizational resources are allocated based on goals. And, it also helps in decision making.

#3 To Serve as a Source of Motivation

Specific, realistic, and challenging goals serve as a source of motivation for employees. Such goals are the basis of motivation for efficient, skilled, and hardworking employees. Realistic goals can be achieved within a definite time frame which will provide a reward to employees.

#4 To Provide an Effective Mechanism for Evaluation and Control

Goals provide an efficient way for evaluation and control of employee’s performance. They help to set a standard of performance for an organization. When standard goals are achieved it is assumed that performance is efficient. But, if actual performance is below the required standard, it is essential to take corrective measures to improve future performance.

#5 To provide Distinct Image and Identity

Sound and realistic goals provide a distinct image and identity to an organization among the public. This facilitates the attraction of efficient and competent employees in organizations. The involvement of skilled employees helps maximize productivity and improves the quality of goods and services of an organization.

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