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MBO (Management by Objectives): pdf, Definition, Examples, Advantages, Disadvantages

When we hear the term MBO, the first question that comes into our mind is, What does MBO stand for? Full form of the MBO is Management By Objectives. MBO is the establishment of a management information system to compare actual performance and achievements to the defined objectives.

MBO basically improves the motivation of an employee by setting a specific goal of their work. It also improves the commitment and allows for better communication between employee and management.

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This process also helps the organization members to see their accomplishments as they achieve each objective, which reinforce a positive and work-friendly environment. The process of management by objective focuses more on results rather than the activities involved.

It is also known as Management by Results (MBR). It was popularised by Peter Drucker in his book – ‘The Practice of Management’. The system of MBO  can be described as a process whereby the superior and subordinate jointly identify common goals, define each’s major areas of responsibility in terms of the results expected of him or her and these measures are used as guides for operating the unit and assessing the contribution of each member.

Management by Objective defines roles and responsibilities for the employees and to help them find out their future course of action in the organization.

Definition of MBO (Management by Objectives)

MBO is a structured approach to management that focuses on setting clear, measurable goals collaboratively between managers and employees. It’s essentially a roadmap that translates the organization’s big-picture vision into achievable objectives for each team and individual.

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Need for Management by Objectives (MBO)

In today’s dynamic business environment, ensuring everyone in your organization is working towards the same goals is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. This is where Management by Objectives (MBO) steps in, offering a structured approach to bridge the gap between strategic vision and individual actions. Here’s why MBO is more relevant than ever:

  • Combating Information Overload: The modern workplace bombards employees with information. MBO cuts through the clutter by providing clear, focused objectives, allowing everyone to prioritize tasks that truly matter.
  • Boosting Agility in a Changing Landscape: Markets and customer needs can shift rapidly. MBO fosters a results-oriented culture where employees are empowered to adapt and make decisions that contribute to achieving the organization’s goals, even in the face of change.
  • Enhancing Employee Engagement: Traditional top-down management styles can lead to disengaged employees. MBO’s collaborative goal-setting process fosters a sense of ownership and purpose, leading to a more engaged and motivated workforce.
  • Facilitating Remote Work Success: With the rise of remote work, maintaining a sense of direction and alignment can be challenging. MBO’s emphasis on clear objectives and measurable outcomes translates well to remote teams, ensuring everyone stays focused on delivering results.
  • Improving Transparency and Accountability: MBO creates a transparent environment where everyone understands the organization’s goals and their role in achieving them. This transparency fosters accountability, as both managers and employees can track progress and identify areas for improvement.

Beyond these core needs, MBO also addresses the growing demand for:

  • Data-driven decision-making: MBO’s focus on measurable goals allows for data-driven performance evaluation, providing valuable insights to guide strategic decisions.
  • A culture of continuous improvement: Regular progress reviews inherent to MBO create opportunities for ongoing feedback and learning, fostering a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.

While MBO requires an initial investment of time and resources, the benefits it offers in terms of alignment, motivation, and performance improvement make it a valuable tool for organizations seeking to thrive in today’s dynamic and competitive business landscape.

Examples of MBO (Management by Objective)

MBO examples for Company Performance

  • Become the market leader.
  • Improve product quality.
  • Production increase by 20%.
  • achieve a cash flow of $1000,000 per month.
  • Expand sales by 20%.
  • Achieve a payback period of 1.5 years for the new product.

MBO examples for Sales

  • Achieve a new target of 60 per month.
  • Hit the win rate of 30%.
  • Decrease sales cycle to 4 months.
  • Hit the win rate of 30%.

MBO examples for Product Management

  • Successful product launch.
  • Grow subscriber revenue by 30%.
  • Maintain Net promoter score of 70.
  • Maintain 80% CSAT score.
  • Collaborate on new features with programming and marketing departments.
  • Maintain production consistency ratio of 99.9%.
  • Meet with at least 15 high-value clients for product feedback.
  • Create an annual product plan to integrate the competitor’s main product features.
  • Identify 5 leading competitors.
  • A complete survey of at least 300 new customers to gauge new product interest.

MBO examples for Customer Support

  • Maintain a CSAT rating of 75%.
  • Increase customer service call capacity by 50%.
  • Reduce call abandonment to 5%.
  • Maintain customer service feedback database.
  • Reduce manager call Intervention by 20%.
  • Hire 10 new outsourced workers.
  • Complete 10 new customer service script sceneries.
  • Collaborate with the customer support department to provide the best possible service to premium customers.

MBO examples for Operations

  • Create an annual operational programme.
  • Seasonal consumer demand prediction.
  • Reduce software development cycle by 3 weeks by instituting agile.
  • Hold bi-weekly meetings to adapt to planning through the software engineering process.
  • Reduce software testing time to 5 days.
  • Reduce software failure rate to under 2%.
  • Reduce sourcing and logistics expanse by 2.5%.
  • Deliver 90% of products on the exact time.
  • Fulfil 100% of warranty service.

MBO examples for Customer Success

  • Earn $200 in customer success related revenue.
  • Increase Customer success related CSAT score to 92%.
  • Decrease onboarding tome to 4 days.
  • Achieve 30% higher customer satisfaction with onboarding by 50%.
  • Increase customer references for qualified leads by 20%.
  • Maintain a detailed profile of each special client.
  • Increase contribution to special client acquisition by 10%.

Process of MBO

MBO defines as a comprehensive managerial system that systematically integrates many key scheduled activities and that is consciously directed toward the effective and efficient achievement of organisational and individual objectives.

There are 6 stages of MBO

  1. Define the goals of the organization.
  2. Define the objectives of the employees.
  3. Continuously monitoring performance and progress.
  4. Performance evaluation.
  5. Providing feedback.
  6. Appraisal of performance.

1. Define the Goals of the Organization

Goals are the most important part of organizational effectiveness and it serves several purposes. Every Organization have several different kinds of goals all of which must be perfectly managed.

Defined organizational goal helps manager and supervisors to guide employee’s effort in a strategically way and they work to achieve it.

2. Define the Objectives of the Employees

After making sure that employees’ managers have informed of patient general objectives, plannings and strategies, the manager can then proceed to work with employees in fixing their objectives.

The manager asks the employees which target they can achieve in the given period of time. Then they will discuss some issues related to their goals and try to solve them.

3. Monitoring Performance and Progress

Management by Objectives or MBO process is not only essential for making line managers in business but also it is equally important for monitoring the performance and progress of the employees.

Process of Monitoring
  • Find out the ineffective programs by comparing them with pre-established objectives.
  • Using of zero-based budgeting.
  • Using It for measuring individual and plans.
  • Preparing long-range and short-range objectives.
  • Designing a sound organizational structure with clear responsibilities and decision making authority.

4. Performance Evaluation

Under the process of MBO, the concerned manager reviews the performance. It is used to measure the amount of value added by an employee in terms of increased business revenue, in comparison to industry standards. It helps employees to have self-awareness about their performance.

Performance evaluation lets an employee understand where does he or she stands as compared to other employees in the organization.

5. Providing Feedback

One of the main parts of the MBO process is taking feedback from valuable clients that allows to monitor and correct or improve actions of the product or organization. It increases the quality of the product or services and helps to know about the market standard.

6. Appraisal of Performance

  • A regular review of the performance of the employee within organizations is called performance appraisal. It is the last stage of Management by Objectives. performance appraisal helps the organization to know about an employee’s job performance, their ability for further growth and development.
  • By the performance appraisal, a supervisor can review the payment of an employee according to his performance, targets and plan.
  • The supervisor can guide the employee for better performance.

Advantages of MBO

Here’s a breakdown of some key advantages that MBO can bring to the table:

  1. Sharpened Focus and Alignment: MBO eliminates ambiguity by establishing clear, measurable goals at every level. Imagine a team where everyone is rowing in the same direction – that’s the power of MBO.
  2. Enhanced Employee Motivation: MBO fosters a sense of ownership by involving employees in goal setting. When they understand how their work contributes to the bigger picture, they’re naturally more motivated to achieve.
  3. Improved Communication and Collaboration: MBO thrives on open communication. The goal-setting process itself necessitates dialogue, and regular progress reviews further strengthen collaboration.
  4. Clearer Performance Measurement: MBO replaces subjective evaluations with objective metrics based on set goals. This transparency allows for data-driven performance assessments and constructive feedback.
  5. Boosted Employee Engagement: MBO empowers employees and gives their work meaning. Feeling like they’re contributing to a shared vision fosters a more engaged and dedicated workforce.
  6. Streamlined Decision-Making: With clear objectives, decision-making becomes more focused. Every choice can be evaluated based on its contribution to achieving the set goals, reducing distractions and ensuring strategic alignment.
  7. Enhanced Innovation: MBO encourages employees to think creatively about achieving their goals. This focus on results can spark innovation and the development of new and improved ways of working.
  8. Increased Accountability: MBO fosters a sense of ownership and accountability at all levels. Employees are held responsible for achieving their set goals, leading to a more results-oriented culture.
  9. Improved Resource Allocation: By clearly defining priorities through MBO, organizations can allocate resources more effectively towards achieving their most important objectives.
  10. Stronger Strategic Alignment: MBO ensures that individual and departmental goals cascade from the organization’s overall strategy. This alignment ensures everyone’s efforts contribute to the organization’s long-term success.

Disadvantages of MBO

While Management by Objectives (MBO) boasts numerous advantages, it’s not without its limitations. Here are 6 potential drawbacks to consider:

  1. Time-Consuming Implementation: Setting SMART goals, crafting action plans, and conducting regular reviews can be a time-consuming process, especially during initial implementation. This can strain already busy managers and employees.
  2. Overemphasis on Short-Term Goals: MBO often focuses on goals achievable within a specific timeframe (e.g., quarterly, annually). This might lead to neglecting long-term strategic objectives that require sustained effort over extended periods.
  3. Goal Rigidity and Stifled Creativity: An overemphasis on achieving set goals can lead to inflexibility. Employees might be hesitant to pursue innovative solutions if they deviate from the established plan, potentially hindering creativity and problem-solving.
  4. Gaming the System: In some cases, employees might prioritize achieving goals “by any means necessary” rather than focusing on the quality of work or ethical considerations. This can lead to shortcuts, sacrificing long-term benefits for short-term wins.
  5. Limited Applicability: MBO might not be well-suited for all roles or departments. For example, it can be challenging to set clear, measurable goals for creative or research-oriented positions.
  6. Management Skill Gap: Successful MBO implementation requires strong leadership and communication skills from managers. If managers lack the ability to effectively guide goal setting and performance reviews, MBO can become a bureaucratic burden rather than a tool for improvement.


Management by Objectives (MBO) is more than just a management fad; it’s a strategic approach with the potential to transform your organization. By fostering alignment between individual goals and the organization’s overall vision, MBO unlocks a multitude of benefits.

Recap of MBO’s Strengths:

  • Enhanced focus and clarity: MBO ensures everyone is rowing in the same direction, eliminating confusion and wasted effort.
  • Increased employee motivation and ownership: Collaborative goal setting fosters a sense of ownership and accountability, leading to a more engaged workforce.
  • Improved communication and collaboration: MBO thrives on open communication, strengthening collaboration and problem-solving within teams.
  • Clearer performance measurement: Measurable objectives enable objective performance evaluations, promoting transparency and accountability.
  • Aligning decisions with strategy: MBO facilitates data-driven decision-making, ensuring choices contribute to achieving strategic goals.

MBO is not without its challenges, such as:

  • Time investment in implementation
  • Potential overemphasis on short-term goals
  • Risk of stifling creativity if goals become too rigid
  • Importance of strong leadership and communication skills for successful implementation

However, by carefully considering these limitations and tailoring MBO to your specific context, you can leverage its strengths to propel your organization forward.

In conclusion, MBO is a powerful tool that can act as a catalyst for organizational success. By promoting alignment, motivation, and a results-oriented culture, MBO equips your organization to navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape and achieve its strategic objectives.

Related terms


Management may be defined as the art of work done through people, with the satisfaction of the employer, employees, and the public. To do this, it is necessary to guide, direct, control human effort towards the fulfilment of the goal of the enterprise. Read more >>

Zero-based Budgeting

Zero -Based Budgeting (ZBB) is a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period.

Or, ZBB in management accounting involves preparing the budget from the scratch with a zero-base and every function within an organization is analysed for its needs and costs. Read more >>


Organizational goals are strategic goals that a company’s management establishes to outline anticipated results and guide personnel’ efforts.

There are numerous advantages to establishing organizational goals, they guide worker efforts, justify a corporation’s sports and life, define overall performance requirements, offer constraints for pursuing needless goals and function as behavioural incentives. Read more >>

Sukanta Maiti

I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession, Blogger, and Youtuber by passion. I have been in the engineering field since 2014. I am passionate about sharing all my knowledge about engineering, management, and economics to my readers.

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