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Typologies of goals

business, management, business goals, administration, planning, organizing, directing, leading, controlling, staffing

To understand how goals are used, we must first analyze kinds of goals, differences between formal and real goals, and how goals are formulated and changed. This analysis will provide the fundamentals for discussing the functions and dysfunctions of the goals perspective.
Goals can be viewed in a number of ways. One can focus on the matter of level, defining some goals as primary and others as subsidiary. With this approach we identify the goal at the top of the organization’s hierarchy of goals as the mission statement, which defines the fundamental and unique purposes that differentiate the organization from others. The feature ‘mission statements’ is one of the first of these fundamental goals.

Mission statements

Developing a mission statement is an important first step in the strategic planning process, according to both practitioners and research scholars. An effective mission statement defines the fundamental, unique purpose that sets a business apart from other firms of its type and identifies the scope of the business’s operations in product and market terms. It is an enduring statement of purpose, comprehensive in its coverage of broad organizational concerns. The limited evidence available suggests eight key approaches to mission statements. Following is a list of these components with examples of mission statements that illustrate each:

1.The specifications of targets customers and markets;
2.The identifications of principal products or services;
3.The specification of geographic domain;
4.The identification of core technologies;
5.The expression of commitment to survival, growth and profitability;
6.The specification of key elements in the company philosophy;
7.The identification of the company self – concept;
8.The identification of the firm’s desired public image.

The mission statement establishes other, more subordinate goals that are formulated to implement that mission. These secondary goals are called operational goals. The feature on overarching goals details the value of the link between operational goals and the mission statement.

Published: 2007-04-14
Author: Martin Hahn

About the author or the publisher
Martin Hahn PhD has received his education and degrees in Europe in organizational/industrial sociology. He grew up in South-East Asia and moved to Europe to get his tertiary education and gain experience in the fields of scientific research, radio journalism, and management consulting.

After living in Europe for 12 years, he moved to South-East again and has worked for the last 12 years as a management consultant, university lecturer, corporate trainer, and international school administrator

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