Managers' Goal-Setting Strategies : Focus on Small Businesses

by Stark, Fredrik; Purohit, Nisha

Abstract (Summary)
AbstractBackground:Goals and goal-setting are two aspects that occur everyday in business life however little is known about the effect of strategic goal-setting. To a cer-tain extent, this affects all of us either directly or indirectly, everyday through strategic decisions that are made by business managers all around the world. A company’s performance of a company can be measured in many ways. A firm’s performance can be financially successful if the com-pany’s strategy is well planned. Strategic planning consists of developing goal-strategies, which aim at contributing to the firm’s performance.Problem:A small business manager’s view on the goals-setting strategies is important since the manager in a small company can influence the business more than compared to a manager in a larger firm. As the personality differs among managers, the level of planning and proactiveness would differ as well. Sev-eral studies have focused on the relationship between goal-setting and per-formance but the level of proactiveness has not been has not been consid-ered to a larger extent.Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to investigate managers’ goal-setting strategies, focusing on goal-specificy, planning, proactiveness, and financial perform-ance in small businesses in the Jönköping region, Sweden.Method:To fulfill the purpose of this thesis both qualitative and quantitative re-search approaches have been used. As 173 interviews were already carried out in an earlier study, we created a strategy on how to use the collected in-terview data. Theories from different research areas were combined with hypotheses to create a framework for this paper. The theories and the hy-potheses were analyzed in light of the empirical evidence, the interview and we used the SPSS to test our hypotheses.Result:The results from the first three hypotheses were not found to be too unex-pected as we assumed that planning, the level of goal-specificy and proac-tiveness to a large extent, depend on a managers’ strategies and ambitions. The final two hypotheses have helped us discover new patterns and add to previous theories. We have made two main contributions by conducting this master thesis. The first one is that a high degree of planning does not imply a higher level of financial performance. The second one is that family businesses do not show a lesser degree of planning compared to non-family businesses.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:small business goal setting specificy proactiveness planning performance family


Date of Publication:09/10/2007

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