chapter  Chapter Seven
20 Pages

Goal Ambiguity and Organizational Survival

ByWilliam Hoynes

In commercial television the economic marketplace structures the goals; the networks operate much like other corporations, seeking to maximize profits. The not-for-profit nature of public television, however, means that its goals are not as straightforward. Public television does not exist simply to make money, to maximize profits, or to serve stockholders. Although a public television mission was rather clearly articulated, there is substantial ambiguity about public television's goals in the early 1990s. There is little doubt that many of those who work in public television prefer a public service ethos to the culture of profit maximization. The decision to enter the world of public television was a conscious career choice. There is a dramatic difference between, on the one hand, a goal-oriented organization that attracts people committed to organizational goals and, on the other hand, an organization with vaguely defined goals that provides the opportunity for individuals to pursue their own personal objectives.