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Article

Alan Meekings, Steve Briault and Andy Neely

Advocates and critics of targetsetting in the workplace seem unable to reach beyond their own well‐entrenched battle lines. While the advocates of goal‐directed behaviour

Abstract

Purpose

Advocates and critics of targetsetting in the workplace seem unable to reach beyond their own well‐entrenched battle lines. While the advocates of goal‐directed behaviour point to what they see as demonstrable advantages, the critics of targetsetting highlight equally demonstrable disadvantages. Indeed, the academic literature on this topic is currently mired in controversy, with neither side seemingly capable of envisaging a better way forward. This paper seeks to break the current deadlock and move thinking forward in this important aspect of performance measurement and management by outlining a new, more fruitful approach, based on both theory and practical experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The topic was approached in three phases: assembling and reading key academic and other literature on the subject of targetsetting and goal‐directed behaviour, with a view to understanding, in depth, the arguments advanced by the advocates and critics of targetsetting; comparing these published arguments with one's own experiential findings, in order to bring the essence of disagreement into much sharper focus; and then bringing to bear the academic and practical experience to identify the essential elements of a new, more fruitful approach offering all the benefits of goal‐directed behaviour with none of the typical disadvantages of targetsetting.

Findings

The research led to three key findings: the advocates of goal‐directed behaviour and critics of targetsetting each make valid points, as seen from their own current perspectives; the likelihood of these two communities, left to themselves, ever reaching a new synthesis, seems vanishingly small (with leading thinkers in the goal‐directed behaviour community already acknowledging this); and, between the three authors, it was discovered that their unusual combination of academic study and practical experience enabled them to see things differently. Hence, they would like to share their new thinking more widely.

Research limitations/implications

The authors fully accept that their paper is informed by extensive practical experience and, as yet, there have been no opportunities to test their findings, conclusions and recommendations through rigorous academic research. However, they hope that the paper will move thinking forward in this arena, thereby informing future academic research.

Practical implications

The authors hope that the practical implications of the paper will be significant, as it outlines a novel way for organisations to capture the benefits of goal‐directed behaviour with none of the disadvantages typically associated with targetsetting.

Social implications

Given that increased efficiency and effectiveness in the management of organisations would be good for society, the authors think the paper has interesting social implications.

Originality/value

Leading thinkers in the field of goal‐directed behaviour, such as Locke and Latham, and leading critics of targetsetting, such as Ordóñez et al. continue to argue with one another – much like, at the turn of the nineteenth century, proponents of the “wave theory of light” and proponents of the “particle theory of light” were similarly at loggerheads. Just as this furious scientific debate was ultimately resolved by Taylor's experiment, showing that light could behave both as a particle and wave at the same time, the authors believe that the paper demonstrates that goal‐directed behaviour and targetsetting can successfully co‐exist.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article

Dayananda P, Mrityunjaya V. Latte, Mahesh S. Raisinghani and Sowmyarani CN

Standard quality is very highly important parameter in the education sector. Accreditation is a process where standard quality of education is given and the process of…

Abstract

Purpose

Standard quality is very highly important parameter in the education sector. Accreditation is a process where standard quality of education is given and the process of continuous improvement is defined. Emphasizing quality of student education is achieved through outcome-based education system (OBE). Program outcomes signify the comprehension, skills and attitude the students should have at the end of the program. At the end of each course, course outcomes signify the knowledge acquired by the students. Course outcomes assessment is one of the key aspects of the OBE model. In this research, the following four factors: subject quality, number of times subject handled by faculty members, faculty experience and student quality with different weightage, are used for analysis of the target setting for individual courses, used for higher education accreditation. This new approach for target setting will improve the teaching and learning process.

Design/methodology/approach

Four factors: subject quality, number of times subject handled by faculty members, faculty experience and student quality with different weightage, are used for analysis of the target setting for individual courses, used for higher education accreditation.

Practical implications

Using proposed approach, higher targets can be achieved in teaching and learning.

Findings

New approach for target setting will improve the teaching and learning process.

Research limitations/implications

Proposed approach for target setting will improve the teaching and learning process; it should be implemented across all engineering colleges or universities.

Social implications

All engineering colleges will have impact on teaching and learning process.

Originality/value

The following four factors: subject quality, number of times subject handled by faculty members, faculty experience and student quality with different weightage, are used for analysis of the target setting for individual courses, used for higher education accreditation.

Details

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1026-4116

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Book part

Chao-Hsiung Lee, John Y. Lee and Yasuhiro Monden

In this article, we examine the link between product development organization and target cost management. More specifically, we investigate the interactive effects of…

Abstract

In this article, we examine the link between product development organization and target cost management. More specifically, we investigate the interactive effects of alternative product development organizations, methods for setting target costs, and alternative decision-making authority in assigning targets. Based on the results of a questionnaire survey of Japanese manufacturers, we intend to provide some early evidence on those interactive effects to stimulate further research in this area of target cost management. We find that organizational efficiency is connected with cost reduction performance in target cost management from the two perspectives: (1) the relationship between the simultaneous involvement of project leaders and functional staff and the use of a particular target cost-setting method, and (2) the correlation of the simultaneous project-function involvement with the level of expected cost reduction performance. No particular product development organization shows any preference for the use of a target cost-setting method. The preference, however, is shown clearly when a particular target cost allocation decision authority is aligned with the use of a target cost-setting method. Companies with higher levels of cost reduction performance (expected or experienced) tend to make project leaders and functional staff get simultaneously involved in target cost allocation decisions.

Details

Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-243-6

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Article

Ofer Zwikael and Jack R. Meredith

Project goal setting, led by a project proposal development team, is an important operations process because effective goal setting aligned with the operations strategy…

Abstract

Purpose

Project goal setting, led by a project proposal development team, is an important operations process because effective goal setting aligned with the operations strategy can enhance project investment decision making, project success and thereby operations performance. The purpose of this paper is to argue that because of the strategic nature of this task, the organizational climate (OC) that the proposal development team works in is critical for the effectiveness of their goal setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors raise hypotheses regarding the role OC plays in enhancing the effectiveness of the support senior executives provide to project proposal teams. The authors test the hypotheses in a longitudinal survey of 200 managers in the USA.

Findings

Results show that a formal organizational process used by proposal development teams for setting project goals is highly effective and that an appropriate OC further intensifies the positive effect of such a process. However, a formal organizational process has no positive effect on effective goal setting if implemented in an environment with a poor OC.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by finding that a positive OC intensifies the already positive effect of organizational support. In practice, the creation of such a climate can enhance project goal setting, project success, and as a result, operations performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article

Gordon Wills, Sherril H. Kennedy, John Cheese and Angela Rushton

To achieve a full understanding of the role ofmarketing from plan to profit requires a knowledgeof the basic building blocks. This textbookintroduces the key concepts in…

Abstract

To achieve a full understanding of the role of marketing from plan to profit requires a knowledge of the basic building blocks. This textbook introduces the key concepts in the art or science of marketing to practising managers. Understanding your customers and consumers, the 4 Ps (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) provides the basic tools for effective marketing. Deploying your resources and informing your managerial decision making is dealt with in Unit VII introducing marketing intelligence, competition, budgeting and organisational issues. The logical conclusion of this effort is achieving sales and the particular techniques involved are explored in the final section.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

Robert Johnston, Lin Fitzgerald, Eleni Markou and Stan Brignall

Considers the relationship between the types of targets or benchmarks used and reward structures adopted in two contrasting performance improvement strategies – continuous…

Abstract

Considers the relationship between the types of targets or benchmarks used and reward structures adopted in two contrasting performance improvement strategies – continuous improvement and radical change. Hypothesises that the process of target setting and the reward structures adopted will be different between the two strategies. The propositions are that organisations involved in continuous improvement of a process will base their performance targets on past performance and internal benchmarking, arrived at through consultation and with a mixture of financial and non‐financial rewards for achieving targets. For processes involving radical change, targets will be based on external benchmarks imposed by senior management, with financial rewards for their achievement. The findings from a semi‐structured questionnaire conducted in 40 UK service organisations reveal that most continuous improvement targets were based on past performance and that processes undergoing radical change made limited use of external benchmarks. In the majority of cases, targets were imposed by managers without consultation, with rewards linked to theachievement of those targets. Financial rewards, particularly financial bonuses, predominated in both improvement strategies. The implications are that the potential benefits of adopting process changes are being constrained. In continuous improvement the lack of participation in target setting could be undermining the team‐based empowerment philosophy of the strategy. The aim of radical change is to achieve a paradigm shift involving revolutionary rather than evolutionary change which is less likely to be fulfilled with targets based on past performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 21 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Content available
Article

Pedro Cabral Santiago Faria and Nicole Labutong

Amidst a growing interest in greenhouse gas (GHG) science-based target setting by businesses, it is becoming increasingly urgent to understand how these are set in theory…

Abstract

Purpose

Amidst a growing interest in greenhouse gas (GHG) science-based target setting by businesses, it is becoming increasingly urgent to understand how these are set in theory and in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a model framework for science-based methods, the authors compare four different science-based target-setting methods: sectoral decarbonization approach, linear emission reduction to target year, GHG emissions per unit of value added and corporate finance approach to climate stabilizing targets. Input and output variables, GHG scopes, allocation principles and mathematical formulations are described, followed by a discussion of the differences and similarities between methods.

Findings

The authors show GHG emission mitigation scenarios are as important in the determination of targets as the allocation principle.

Practical implications

For this reason, businesses should apply well-bellow 2ºC scenarios with robust sectoral and regional granularity and the science community should consider the needs of these groups of stakeholders.

Social implications

Policymakers should actively support efforts by corporations to set science-based targets and ensure that the research they commission can be translated into practical action by non-party stakeholders.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the understanding of the theory and practice of science-based targets.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article

Carl Deschamps and Jan Mattijs

The purpose of this paper is to give evidence of effective, large-scale, and time-sustained goal setting through the use of performance indicators (PIs) in managing a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give evidence of effective, large-scale, and time-sustained goal setting through the use of performance indicators (PIs) in managing a fairly large and decentralized social-security organization, despite indications that the motivational effects of goal setting are hard to sustain in the long term.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyze five years of monthly organizational performance data across 30 regional offices and five activities to identify the links between PIs and productivity.

Findings

The authors identify correlations that demonstrate a cycle where low performance scores on indicators increase productivity in the next period, but high performance decrease it, thus renewing the cycle.

Research limitations/implications

While long-term gains in the productivity are not the direct product of goal setting, the close relationship between goals and productivity illustrates the motivational potential of communicable targets and close feedback that led to a culture of performance within the organization.

Practical implications

The case studied demonstrates how a performance management system can be designed and managed so that long-term fatigue is avoided while maintaining a dynamic workforce that adapts in the face of environment change by increasing its efforts as needed.

Originality/value

This paper answers a call to connect management control studies with managerial work done in practical settings.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 66 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Sorour Farokhi, Emad Roghanian and Yaser Samimi

The purpose of this paper is to identify the accurate cause and effect relationships among strategic objectives and also to demonstrate how decision makers can be guided…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the accurate cause and effect relationships among strategic objectives and also to demonstrate how decision makers can be guided in the process of defining quantitative strategic target values in the framework of balanced scorecard (BSC) and performance measurement system.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the proposed method in this research, after determining strategic objectives and developing an initial strategy map according to decision makers’ opinions, simultaneous equations system (SES) was used to determine the significance of the relationships among strategic objectives in higher perspectives of the BSC and corresponding strategic objectives in lower perspectives. Afterward, desirable values for performance measures were determined based on the equations and relationships obtained through SES and were optimized by goal programming method.

Findings

By applying the proposed method, a clearer picture of the associations among strategic objectives is obtained and the influence of strategic objectives on one another is determined. Afterward, optimal values for strategic objectives are determined to achieve the organization’s goals.

Research limitations/implications

This paper proposes a framework for constructing a strategy map and setting quantitative targets in the framework of BSC. Indeed, this paper presents a case study to demonstrate the applicability and effectiveness of the proposed approach. However, SES technique requires a greater amount of data to generate more accurate results. Although the advent of the Information Age has forced organizations’ decision makers to provide sufficient information and data for business analysis, the data requirements are met.

Practical implications

The presented quantitative approach is a supporting approach for improving decision makers’ opinions and enabling them to reach a more accurate picture of the relationships, valuing strategic objectives and achieving strategic goals. This research also presents a case study to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed approach. The application and implication of the proposed method in banking services show that the contributions of the paper are not only theoretical, but also practical.

Originality/value

The proposed method provides a novel approach for determining the most appropriate targets and applies a comprehensive and scientific model together with decision makers’ opinions and experiences and has two main contributions: first, the associations among strategic objectives are investigated and obtained in an effective way by conducting the SES for the first time in the framework of BSC. Second, quantitative targets have been determined to help in achieving the long-term goals. This task has been accomplished through a combination of SES, the three-stage least squares regression analysis and optimization by using weighted goal programming method.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 69 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Sorour Farokhi and Emad Roghanian

The purpose of this paper is to propose a quantitative methodology for setting targets in the framework of Balanced Scorecard (BSC) in order to achieve vision and goals.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a quantitative methodology for setting targets in the framework of Balanced Scorecard (BSC) in order to achieve vision and goals.

Design/methodology/approach

Response Surface Methodology is proposed to find the significant relationships that should be included in the strategy map and the optimal values of performance measures are assessed by using the desirability function-based approach of RSM. The proposed method was created by reviewing the existing literature, modeling the problem, and applying it in an oil company. In fact, RSM is used to execute the design matrix, analyze the collected data, extract models, analyze the results, and optimize the procedures that generate multiple responses.

Findings

By applying this methodological design, a clearer picture of the relationships between strategic objectives is obtained and the influence of strategic objectives on one another is determined. Afterward, optimal values for performance measures are determined.

Research limitations/implications

This paper proposes a framework for constructing a strategy map and setting quantitative targets to translate the goals and strategies into corresponding performance measures and targets. Also, this paper presents a case study to demonstrate the applicability and effectiveness of the proposed approach. However, RSM-based techniques require a greater amount of data to generate more accurate results. Although the advent of the Information Age has forced organizations’ decision makers to provide sufficient information and data for business analysis, the data requirements of RSM-based techniques are met.

Practical implications

In practice, the process of setting targets for performance measures can be challenging in terms of reaching a consensus between managers and decision makers. The findings of this paper can offer a new approach for performance evaluation based on the BSC which allows the organization’s decision makers to reach a more accurate picture of the relationship model between organization goals and those objectives within the BSC. It also demonstrates how decision makers can be guided in the process of defining performance target values in the BSC method.

Originality/value

Reviewing the literature on setting quantitative targets within the framework of the BSC showed no prior study in which RSM is used. This approach has two main contributions: the associations among strategic objectives are investigated and obtained in an effective way which analytically identifies the direction and degree of the relations among the performance measures. Considering the performance evaluation structure based on the BSC, quantitative targets have been determined to help in achieving the long-term goals of the organization. The application of the proposed method in a company showed that the contributions of this research are not only theoretical, but practical as well.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 56 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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