What Do Multiple Objectives Really Mean for Performance? Empirical Evidence from the French Manufacturing Sector

HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2019-1337

Forthcoming: Strategic Management Journal

52 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2019 Last revised: 15 May 2020

See all articles by Tomasz Obloj

Tomasz Obloj

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Metin Sengul

Boston College - Management & Organization Department

Date Written: May 15, 2020

Abstract

We explore the performance consequences of the simultaneous pursuit of multiple objectives in organizations. Taking advantage of a unique dataset covering both the objectives pursued and performance outcomes, we test the hypothesis that is the cornerstone of multiple objective theory: performance on a given metric increases when it is pursued as an objective but decreases with the number of other objectives pursued simultaneously. We find overall support to this hypothesis, which holds for most, but not all, objectives. We further unpack the link between multiplicity of objectives and performance, investigating the moderating effects of organization design choices. This study suggests that multiple objectives impose a cost on organizations, but also provide a benefit of alleviating tradeoffs in achieving higher performance in multiple dimensions.

Keywords: Multiple Objectives, Performance Paradox, Organization Design, Behavioral Strategy

Suggested Citation

Obloj, Tomasz and Sengul, Metin, What Do Multiple Objectives Really Mean for Performance? Empirical Evidence from the French Manufacturing Sector (May 15, 2020). HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2019-1337, Forthcoming: Strategic Management Journal, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3403492 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3403492

Tomasz Obloj (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Metin Sengul

Boston College - Management & Organization Department

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
61
Abstract Views
569
rank
388,371
PlumX Metrics