What is MBO (Management By Objective)?

MBO (Management by objective)
One can take it as an appraisal technique, performance boaster or a motivational effort, in any way MBO finds an importance in modern business work practice. It was early 1900s when researchers started working in the field of behavioral science and soon they revealed that an organizational performance is a function of human performance only. Even with most rationalized and scientific operations no organization can show high performance if people in organization are not willing to perform.

Concept of motivation
This established the importance of motivation at work place. Motivation can simply be defined as set of complex forces that make a person to take some action and continue the same up till the end. These set of complex forces are motivational factors that are different for different people. For example- few people are motivated to work if they know that they will get certain monetary benefit if they will achieve their target, on the other hand some people will be motivated if they know that they will be honored if they do something in focus. Now we can’t motivate people in second category by giving them small monetary benefits, similarly we can’t motivate people in first category by simply appreciating them for their work.

This variation comes from different needs of human beings. Different people have different needs, so they have different motivational factors.

Motivation by freedom
In work environment it has been observed that people feel motivated when they are provided with some freedom to work. Close supervision and “rule of thumb” is always discouraging and leads to poor productivity of employees. This finding gave birth to the concept of MBO.

In system of MBO, objectives never move from upward to downward i.e. employees (sub-ordinate) fix their own objectives and fix their own deadlines. So the entire responsibility to achieve the objectives lies in hands of performer only. This makes employees motivated to work and turn them responsible also.

From the above given model, MBO concept could be well understood. The entire process is mentioned below:

1. At first supervisor develop its own objectives, by keeping organization vision and mission in concern. It’s very important for the supervisor to keep the objectives focused in direction of KRA’s to be achieved by the organization.

2. After fixing the objectives, supervisors suggest resultant objectives for the subordinates. Subordinate may or may not take reference of these suggestions and develop their own objective statements to be achieved in a fixed time.

3. Then sub-ordinate performs according to the objectives and tries to achieve them in fixed time.

4. At the end, performance of subordinate will be evaluated by the supervisor and feedback will be provided to the sub-ordinate.

Two situations
If subordinate successfully achieved his objectives, then this act as huge motivation for the same, but it’s very important to reinforce the achievement with appropriate recognition. In other case, sub-ordinate should be given positive feed-back, so that performance of sub-ordinate could be increased gradually.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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