The term ‘objectives’ has been defined differently by different authorities in management literature.

Some of them are given below:

1. ‘Objectives here are the statements of planning purpose developed within any kind of business plan. They are established within the framework of a planning process, and they normally evolve from tentative and vague ideas to more specific declarations of purpose. Objectives, furthermore, are always present in a planning process even though they are sometimes unconsciously established’ (Scott).


2. Objectives may be defined as ‘the decision rules which enable management to guide and measure the firm’s performance towards its purpose’ (Ansoff).

3. Corporate objective is something fundamental to the nature of a company and which distinguishes it from other types of organisation; it is therefore something permanent and unalterable.

It is the reason for the existence of the company, that for which it came into being and, what it is now for. It is that which, if the company fails to achieve it, the company itself fails. It is a permanent unalterable purpose, or raison d’etre’ (Argenti).

[Argenti here believes that any firm has only one corporate objective—something distinct—simply as a dimension of profit.]


4. ‘The overall corporate objective defines the kind of company the owners, usually through their representatives, the board of directors, have determined will most profitably put their resources to use in exploiting available market opportunities over the long term’ (Robert J. Mockler).

[Mockler here explores the nature of an overall objective of a corporation and its strategic implications, the basic elements, and the method by which one develops these objectives from planning premises, refines them, and comes to a strategic decision as to which objective is best for a company.]

5. ‘Desired states or outcomes are objectives. Goals are objectives that are scheduled for attainment during the period planned for’ (Ackoff).

[Here, Ackoff sees an interrelationship between goals and objectives.]


6. ‘The company never loses sight of what it is trying to achieve although it may change its method of approach. Plans should have flexibility. A company should regard its objectives as a map-grid reference rather than the bull on a dart-board… if there are obstacles in the way a straight line might not be the quickest method. Actions can be changed (if noticed in time), and it is still possible to reach the map-grid reference’ (David Hussey).

[David Hussey, here, stresses the need for defining objectives and pursuing strategic actions in a strategic management module],

7. ‘An objective is an end result, the end point, or something that a manager aims at and tries to reach’ (W. Haynes).

To sum up the above points of view, we can say that objectives represent the ‘end points’ of basic planning and can be used as reference marks to indicate to what extent the organisation’s ‘ mission’ is being carried out. For example, Air India’s—


Mission: the provision of cheap air freight facilities.

Its ‘Objectives’ could be: cutting of costs so that we are able to offer profitably freight carrying charges x% lower than those of any of our three competitors.

An objective of the above type translates the aspirations of the ‘mission’ into specific, quantifi­able terms which can be used to measure performance and to check deviations from desired results.

Peter Drucker maintains that a company may have a number of objectives. This view­point is further developed by Humble into a comprehensive system of ‘Management by objectives’.


Essentially, objectives are fundamental to the control of organisational activity and are vital for the construction of an organisation’s policies, programmes, and derived rules.

Examples of Organisational Objectives:

The organisational objectives are the overall objectives usually stated in broader terms rather than in specific ones. Like the mission statement, these objectives are the ‘end-result’ objectives or goals that permit more specific sub-objectives and goals, strategies and policies, programmes and plans.

1. Pepsi Co., U.S.A.:


A food and beverage company: Organisational objectives.

They have three fundamental objectives:

i. To earn the highest possible return on its shareholders’ investment consistent with fair and honest business practices.

ii. To ensure steadily increasing per-share profits and dividends paid to shareholders.


iii. To perform consistently better than the industry in every market where ‘Pepsi’ products and services compete.

2. Hawlett-Packard (HP):

A major designer and manufacturer of precision electronic equipment, including computers, calculators, medical and scientific instruments, and other products.

It has the following seven objectives:

i. Profit:

To achieve sufficient profit to finance our company growth and to provide the resources we need to achieve our other corporate objectives.


ii. Customers:

To produce products and services of the greatest possible value to our customers, thereby gaining and holding their respect and loyalty.

iii. Fields of interest:

To enter new fields only when the ideas we have, together with our technical, manufacturing, and marketing skills, and to assure that we can make a needed and marketable contribution to the field.

iv. Growth:

To let out growth be limited only by our products and our ability to develop and produce technical products that satisfy real customer wants.


v. Our People:

To help HP people share in the company’s success, which they make possible; to provide job security based on their performance; to recognise the individual achievements; and to help them gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from their own work.

vi. Management:

To foster initiative and creativity by allowing the individual great freedom of action in attaining well-defined objectives.

vii. Citizenship:


To honour our obligations to society by being an economic, intellec­tual, and social asset to each nation and each community in which we operate.

Some of these objectives are very specific while others are rather general. Even some of these objectives provide an overall strategic direction.