goal displacement


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goal displacement

the process where by an organization's primary objectives (for example the provision of services to consumers) come to take second place to other subsidiary objectives (such as monitoring employee performance). Writers on ORGANIZATIONS have shown how there is the ever-present danger that the means adopted to achieve organizational goals will become ends in themselves and displace the original goals. This tension is inevitable because organizations generally need to develop procedures to guide their members' job activities. But time and effort have to be expended to ensure that the procedures are adhered to and that they are effective. In this way operation of the procedures can come to dominate the activities of managers to the exclusion of attaining the goals the procedures were initially intended to achieve. See BUREAUCRACY.
References in periodicals archive ?
The major problem with evaluating agency performance based on outputs rather than outcomes is that attaching importance to these measures may lead to goal displacement as agencies focus on generating numbers that please political officials, rather than devoting their energies to achieving more meaningful policy outcomes.
A commonly used example of goal displacement involves the classification of crimes by law enforcement agencies.
The above example suggests how incentive structures can generate goal displacement in public agencies.
Goal Displacement and Organizational eating in Public Schools
Although the classic cases of goal displacement by public authorities probably involve a failure to adapt to new circumstances, there is some evidence that the hospital service area is one where the second type of goal displacement dynamic may be occurring.
Accuracy, notice, due process, and efficiency may be compromised by problems such as interorganizational coordination, organizational complexity, strategic behavior by clients, welfare fraud, or goal displacement.
Client-based verification also causes a subtle change in the function of financial sanctions, resulting in goal displacement.
The staff were more likely to perceive goal displacement when the verification system was exclusively client-based.