This article will help you to learn about the difference between organizational goals and individual goals.

Difference between Organisational Goals and Individual Goals

The hierarchy of objectives makes clear distinction between individual and organisational goals. Organisational goals are framed for different levels of the organisation and individual goals represent the goals of people working in the organisation. Managers at different levels make different objectives in the organisational hierarchy.

Top managers or the Board of Directors make overall objectives of the firm and objectives for key result areas. Key result areas are marketing, innovation, human organisation, financial resources, physical resources, productivity, social responsibility and profit requirements — Drucker. Middle-level managers make objectives for the respective departments (production, sales etc.) and lower-level managers frame objectives for different units of each department and also their subordinates.

Though individual goals are at the end of the hierarchy, they are framed for all the individuals working at different levels of the organisation. At individual level, objectives are of two types: one, performance of individuals which leads to attainment of overall goals and two, personal objectives of individuals.


Individual goals should be consistent with organisational goals. Organisational and individual goals should be in complete harmony with each other. Managers at higher level should also set objectives for the development of individuals.

There are two view-points in this regard:

1. Classical View Point:

This view point focuses more on the organisations and stresses on formal structure of jobs and work schedules to satisfy individual and organisational needs. Financial incentives are important contributors that affect organisational output.


People work to earn money to satisfy their individual goals. Satisfaction of organisational goals is, thus, the means to satisfy individual goals. If, however, there is conflict between individual goals and organisational goals, preference should be given to organisational goals, i.e., individual goals should not supersede the goals of the organisation.

2. Human Relations View Point:

This is an improvement over the classical view point that changed the focus from work place conditions to human side of the organisation.

The focus changed from job to workers who performed those jobs. ‘Production-oriented’ approach was substituted by ‘people-oriented’ approach. It emphasises the importance of factors that affect human behaviour in organisations.


It recognises that employees’ behaviour is not affected by job conditions alone. Internal reactions to the job situation also affect their behaviour.

This approach emphasises on the fact that “management does not do, it gets others to do”. When focus of management is human beings and human relations, the morale of workers goes up and productivity and efficiency of the organisations increase.

“Human relations refer to the ways in which managers interact with their subordinates.” Managers should know the factors that motivate the employees so that good human relations are developed in the organisations.

Thus, individual goals are not subordinate to organisational goals. In fact, if individual goals are satisfied, it leads to effective attainment of organisational goals, Management should have fair agreement with the subordinates to satisfy their individual goals.


There should be compatibility between individual goals and organisational goals. Individuals and organisations, both are inevitable for each other and need each other to satisfy their respective needs. They should, work in the best interest of each other.