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Example of a Goal Setting Pattern

The goal setting pattern of our example team is characterised by this – that it has a goal, but not a ‘shared one’. Every function in principle follows the same goals: to manage without error the development of the product part for which they are responsible.

The authority and the technical strength of the department leader make it more difficult for the area manager to direct the area goals, above all, to allow the ‘on schedule’ development of the ‘entire’ vehicle to become negotiation-leading and decision-leading.

If the team leader wishes to make decisions for the entire vehicle, which would bring with it a reduction in the quality of the sub-components, these are superficially supported by the team members as well. However, in the subsequent ‘implementation’, the respective departmental goal priorities creep back in. Even though the shared goal is declared and also clear to all, it is not characterised with identification. The gratification of the team members is achieved through reaching their own (part) goal. The identification with the overall goal would immediately bring with it conflicts in one’s own team, which would then be experienced by them first-hand. The conflicts, which arise alongside the lack of focus on the vehicle as a whole, are only comprehended by the area manager. He, on the other hand, becomes conspicuous, because he barely reports about these conflicts (with the board of directors or his colleagues) in the team and if he does, then only casually and without visible distress. The area manager does not wish to seem weak and whingeing (this is his inner motivation) in the eyes of his departmental leader. In addition, he is anxious about the conflicts which he believes he has no control over. Thus, the team discovers little about the consequences of them focussing on their respective own concerns. Everyone does his best, the team as a whole, though, is in danger of missing the set goal, because there is no pressure to change the part goals of the department leader. Thus, through dysfunctional separation of the part goals from the overall goal, the irreconcilability can only be shown symptomatically. So it can happen that the goal assembly can remain unfavourably stable and does not have to be changed.