Business Administration Project Topics

Management by Objectives, a Tool for Greater Productivity and Development (a Study of Zenith Bank Ughelli)

Management by Objectives, a Tool for Greater Productivity and Development (a Study of Zenith Bank Ughelli)

Management by Objectives, a Tool for Greater Productivity and Development (a Study of Zenith Bank Ughelli)


Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to find out the prospects and problems of management by objectives as an instrument for organizational performance in Nigeria.

The specific objectives of the study include:

  1. To determine problems affecting management by objective as an instrument for organizational performance.
  2. To find out the level of participation of both managers and employees in the setting of goals to be achieved in the organization.
  3. To determine whether employees are given appropriate authority and responsibility for achieving the set objectives.



Conceptual framework


Management by objectives is traceable to the period prior to the middle of this century but it was not until 1954 that it was well articulated and publicized by one of the worlds leading management thinkers in the person of Peter Ducker. Management by objective goes beyond setting  annual objectives for organizational units to setting performance goals for individual employees (Stoner 2000: 361). Management by objectives has become a great deal of discussion, evaluation and research and inspired many programs.

Management by objectives refers to a formal set of procedures that begins with goal setting and continues through performance review. Managers and those they supervise act together to set common goals. Each person’s major areas of responsibility are clearly defined in terms of measurable expected result or objectives, used by staff members in planning their worker, and by both staff members and their managers conducted jointly on a continuing basis, with provisions for regular periodic reviews.

Management by objectives (MBO) is a process of defining objectives within an organization so that management and employees agree to the objectives and understand what they need to do in the organization. The essence of MBO is participative goal setting, choosing course of actions and decision making. An important part of the management by objectives is the measurement and the comparison of the employee’s actual performance with the standards set. Ideally, when employees themselves have been involved with the goal setting and choosing the course of action to be followed by them, they are more likely to fulfill their responsibility.

According to Odiorne (1965), the system of management by objectives can be describe as a process whereby the superior and subordinates jointly identify its common goals, define each individuals major areas for operating the unit and assessing the contribution of each of its members.

Management by objectives as mentioned by Drucker is a simple approach to help motivate managers through the goal setting (Antoni, 2005).

According to Rodgers and Hunter (1992), management by objectives contains three main characteristics, “participation in decision making, goal setting and objective feedback”. Participation is used to create common perception for organization as a whole. Goal setting entails “the continuous review and revision of objectives “while objective feedback is the tool for managers to assess subordinates on progress toward goal achievement.

The heart of management by objective is the objectives, which spell out the individual actions needed to fulfil the units functional strategy and annual objectives. Management by objectives provides a way to integrate and focus the efforts of all organization members on the goals of high management and overall organizational strategy.

Another key to management by objective is its insistence on the active involvement of managers and staff members at every organizational level. Drucker (1979: 256) insists that managers and staff members sets their own objectives or at the very least, be actively involved in the objectives setting process. Otherwise people might refuse to co-operate or make only half hearted efforts to implement   same one else’s objectives.


To understand how management by objectives can be applied, it is necessary to look at the parts of the process. Management by objective can be divided into multiple steps in many combinations, but three main one will be discussed. Organization objective setting, manager objective setting and objective review. (Mullins 2005:605).

Organization Objective Setting

Setting objectives is the most difficult step in management by objective. Objective answer the question “what are we trying to accomplish? This step requires the top managers of an organization to review, the purpose for which the organization exist. In the military, this may require the view of the mission statement and a discussion of it’s meaning. This is an important requirement, for periodic review re-emphasizes, the continuing need for the existence of the organization. With this mission in mind, the commander or supervisor and his staff must then set organizational objectives in areas where the unit will concentrate its efforts during the approaching objective setting period.




Research Design

This chapter deals with the design and methodology employed for the research. Essentially describes the research design, population and sample size determination sources of data, questionnaire design and administration.

A design is generally referred to as a formulated framework as a plan of action which as given piece of work is expected to follow. A research design is therefore a plan for a research work which aims at providing guidelines, which the research work is being conducted.

Most especially, the sensitive nature of the topic contributed to basis for the formulation of the research design. The study has a descriptive survey research design.

The method of questionnaire and interview are used in data collection. Data are presented in tables and a descriptive method is adopted in analysis. As Nwana (1981:19) puts it. “the research design is a term used to describe a number of decisions which need to be taken regarding the collection of data  before  every  data are collected.     This study is going to adopt a descriptive method of survey.


This is generally taken to be the totality of all the elements, subjects or number which posses a common and specific characteristics within a given geographical location.

Ugochukwu (1994:27) defines population as the  aggregate or totality of the units in the universe. In line with this definition, Okeke (1995:10) defines population as the collection of elements, units or individuals for which information is sought.

The population was restricted to only the staff of Zenith Bank of Nigeria Ughelli. They form the units of analysis for this study and their nature is determined by the survey objective.




This chapter deals with presentation of the data, this is referred to as the heart of the research work. The data is analyzed in tabular form consisting of different responses. A total number of one hundred and two (102) samples were used and simple percentage was used as statistical data.

The table 4.1.1 indicates that 46 respondents representing 45.1% are between 18 – 30 years of age, 39.2% of the respondents fall between 31 – 35 years of age while 15.7% of the respondents are 46 years and above.



In this chapter, the findings of this study were presented, conclusions were made and finally necessary recommendation were made in line with the findings.


The following findings were made after the data collected from the field survey had been presented and analyzed.

  1. That the major problems militating the management by objectives as instrument for organizational performance are:
    • Non-participation of employees
    • Inappropriate remuneration
  2. That management by objectives helps to obtain total commitment of all the employees to work together in order to achieve a common
  3. The finding revealed that the following factors improve performance of the workers:
    • Good and prompt salary
    • Promotion as when due

Recognition of achievement

  • That organization that adopt management by objectives usually achieves its set
  • That the practice of management by objectives facilitate the emulation of team spirit and work in an The benefits of team spirit in modern day management cannot be over-emphasized. It helps groups overcome individual collective goals and slums selfish or sectional interests.
  • That the process of management by objectives is an underlying motivational ingredients to lower managers. The fact that lower managers are involved in anus at the group objectives not only gives them a feeding of belonging but imposes upon them, a commitment to work  towards it’s effective realization. That management by objectives encourages systematic planning of organization efforts.

Inbuilt in the process of evolving group and sectional objectives as demanded by management by objective is the exercise of planning. The targets thus evolved become the basis for utilization of resources and guiding organizational efforts.


  1. Management by objectives in its ideal form operates in such a way that for the corporate goals to be realized, manager should consult his subordinates in drawing up unit objectives, which goes up the hierarchy from where it is modified, collected, approved and distributed throughout the
  2. There should be regular training and re-retraining of employees in order to achieve the corporate
  3. Managers should endeavor to build a true team and individuals efforts
  4. Their efforts must all pull in the same direction and their contribution must fit together to produce a whole without friction and without duplication of
  5. Managers and employees should periodically meet in order to review progress towards the realization of
  6. There should be autonomy in implementation of plans once the objectives have been agreed upon the individual enjoys wide discretion in choosing the means for achieving the objectives without being directed by higher ranking


This study revealed a lot of positive implications and relevance of management by objectives to modern day management of organization especially in Nigeria. In practical terms, the operations of management by objectives requires that each manager of a unit draws up his department objectives with his subordinates in line with the centrally stipulated corporate objectives and missions. These unit objectives when approved by the management clearly define responsibilities and expected results and are shared and distributed throughout the organization as a basis for performance and rewards. The objectives set in the process of management by objectives help provide a yardstick for  appraisal, compensation and control.

Once the objectives are agreed upon everyone knows what is expected of him, thereby making appraisal and reward easy and known what is more, it facilitates control of organizational operations as deviations can be easily identified and connections made.


  • Akpala, A. (1993), Management: An Introduction and the Nigeria Perspective, Enugu: Chicago, Press.
  • Antoni, C. (2005), Management by Objectives – an Effective  Tool Teamwork? International Journal of Human Resources Management, 16(2).
  • Arthur, C.C. (1975), Personnel Management, New York: Alexander Hamilton Institute Press.
  • Derek, F. and Heather, S. (2005), Human Resources Management London: Prentice Education Ltd.
  • Deveral, C.S. (1980), Business Administration and Management, London: Gee and Company Press Ltd.
  • Dinesh, D. and Palmer, E. (1998), Management by Objectives and the  Balanced Scorecard: Will Rome Fall Again? Management Decisions, 36(5/6).
  • Drucker, P. (1979), The Practice of Management, London: Heinemann Publishers.
  • Eze, J.A. (2002), Business Policy and Strategic Management Issues and Trends, Enugu: Kinsman Publishers
  • Zenith Bank of Nigeria Ugelli. Annual Report and Accounts, 2009. French, W. (1986), Human Resource Management, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • George Odiorne S. (1965), Management by Objectives; a System  of Managerial Leadership,   New York: Pitman Publishers
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