Goal Displacement is a situation in which the original goals of the organization are superseded by the new goals which are developed during the course of time.
Organizations develop initial goals to be achieved and for achieving them some methods and rules are devised and followed. But during the course of time, these rules and procedures may become primary and more important than the original goals.
The new goals may serve the interest of the employees or the management of the organization. This is an inevitable threat organizations face.
In cases where the organization’s original goals are already achieved or when the original goals are no longer necessary, goal displacement has positive effects which help to organization to direct its energy elsewhere. For example an organization which was initially intended to fight polio would displace its goals once the vaccine for polio is invented.
If the individual goals conflict with the organization goals then goal displacement happens at personal level. Giving more importance to the means by which the goals are achieved than the end results may displace the goals. And also if the long term goals are substituted by the short term goals or if the original goals of the organization are uncertain or abstract, goal displacement takes place.
Examples: ln some of the government schools, performance of teachers may be decided on the basis of attendance and punctuality. And gradually these become the key criteria for performance measurement than the way of teaching and results.