what is difference between goals, objetives and target???

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indugupta's profile pic

indugupta | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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The process of management begins with setting of goals, objectives and targets.

  • The goals are long term aims to be achieved by the organization;
  • objective are relatively short term milestones to be accomplished, while
  • the targets generally refer to physical achievements in the organization's business.

The goals, objectives and targets are so set that they are consistent with each other and help to achieve each other. These are to be achieved within a stipulated time and failing to achieve the same, means less of business profit and image. The difference between these entities can be best understood by examples in the three types of organizations given in Table below.


Business Organization


State Transport Organization


Be a leader in the household consumer goods industry, with modern amenities

Be a hospital providing total service to the patients.

Connect all villages of population 5000 and above by S T service


Provide complete product range in the area of cleaning, preserving and entertainment.

Establish 300 bed hospital in three years.

Management state transport at the rate of Rs.50 per mile traveled.


20 per cent growth per annum in turnover.

Achieve Rs. 1000 bed per day earnings.

Achieve 90 percent average seat occupancy everyday.

suribabukomakula's profile pic

suribabukomakula | (Level 1) Honors

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Please find the differentiation between Goal, Objective and target based on the following definitions

Goal:  It is an aim, that something that somebody wanted to achieve to gain something. Goals are fundamental factors that every body to achieve in their life time. One should have certain goals to flourish or develop.

Objectives  -  These are things or places aimed at. Objectives are framed factors to reach the goal. We should frame aims and obectives to reach the target.

Target :   Target is Something that somebody wants to achieve

Our target is to raise $20,000 for cancer research. For this purpose we have set out the aims and objectives to reach the goal of raising $20,000 for cancer researech. It is an area, surface, object, or person aimed at.  A goal or objective towards which effort is directed. We have to reach our target fixed by the superiors, by setting out certain principles, aims, objectives and goals.  A target is a fixed factor under any field to achieve within a given frame of time.


rungstedlund's profile pic

rungstedlund | (Level 1) eNoter

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Goals and objectives are often used interchangeably but they are different, and they are part of a hierarchy.  For planning purposes, goals are broader than objectives; objectives "lead the way" to goal achievement.  To establish an effective goal, several criteria are important.  A goal must be measurable.  In other words, the goal setter needs to know what will indicate that the goal has been attained.  It is easier to determine if a goal has been reached if it is specific.  In this regard, it is useful to answer the "reporter's questions" when constructing a goal:  Who, what, where, when, how (and sometimes, even "why," if a rationale for the goal is needed).  Goals should be feasible (realistic, attainable), not "pie-in-the-sky." And a goal should be set in time.  This is particularly important when working with others who may not have the same span of time in mind, unless it is specifically stated.  Attaching an end time for a goal also helps with goal evaluation.

Objectives are the integrated steps that, as they are accomplished, bring one to goal completion.  If a business goal, say, is for the Widgit business unit to increase emerging market sales revenue by 10 percent in the next fiscal year, a SMART goal has been created.  Who: Widgit business unit.  What: Sales Revenue. Where: Emerging markets.  When: Next fiscal year.  How: Selling.   Ahh. That "How" part is a bit weak, isn't it?   That's where objectives can help.  We need to establish an action plan that is built on "actionable" objectives.  Objectives for this goal might include the following:  Objective 1: Hire two additional sales representatives for a select emerging market.  Objective 2: Integrate social media in consumer communications.  Objective 3: Establish product related webinars to increase on-line traffic.  Objective 4:  Participate in six more international trade shows in the next year.

To think about our target, let us go back to Objective 1.  The plan is to hire two more sales representatives.  Are we just going to turn them loose in that emerging market?  Well, if we do, we're going to give them a clear sales target.  Let's say we expect each new sales representative to establish eight new accounts in the next fiscal year.  Now we have an overarching goal, some specific objectives to work our action plan, and definitive targets for our employees.


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