Every organization needs goals and objectives. Without such, the organization may be without defined purpose, and it cannot set priorities or measure progress. A goal is an end toward which effort is directed. In modern management usage, a goal is often ideal, far-reaching, long-term, and strategic and may be ultimately unattainable. Objectives are specific positions that one desires to attain. An objective is finite and limited and may describe various stages, such as preliminary, intermediate, partial, or terminal. Objectives often are stepping-stones toward a goal.
In establishing goals, it is wise to involve those persons whose energies or resources will be required to meet them. When it was decided to set written goals for The Journal, we asked members of the senior editorial staff to make proposals. These suggested goals totaled 44. They were condensed into a group of eight, expanded to a more comprehensive 13, reedited, and voted on
Lundberg GD. Goals for The Journal. JAMA. 1982;248(5):553. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330050035025
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