Every organization operates on the basis of plan. The organization’s plan whether strategic, tactical or operational includes the overall set goals, types and levels of activities or services, the means of implementation and accountability process for definite periods. As the various factors of production cannot organize themselves to achieve these goals and functions, the need for managerial functions as a rallying point for organization of productive factors becomes imperative. Hence it is needful to ensure quantified improvement in efficiency and effectiveness in resourcing strategies over the conventional method. Management by Objective holds great potential as a management tool which is fast becoming useful in the education industry. It is just a process, but the rewards accruable to students and staff are commensurate with efforts of making it work in educational institutions. This paper examines the perception of school administrators on the relevance and benefits of Management by Objectives as a down planning technique for effective management of Nigeria secondary schools in the 21st century. The study was guided by three research questions and two null hypotheses. The descriptive survey design was adopted. A sample of 500 teachers and 20 principals were selected through random sampling technique from secondary schools in the (3) three educational zones (Umuahia, Aba and Ohafia) in Abia State, Nigeria. The study utilized a 20 item researcher developed questionnaire titled “Teachers Perception of MBO Planning Technique in Secondary Schools Questionnaire (TPMBOSSQ) and “Principals Perception of MBO Planning Technique in Secondary School Questionnaire (PPMBOSSQ) structured on 4-point likert type scale. Mean scores were used to answer the questions, while Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient was used to test the null hypotheses upon confirmation of a reliability ratings of 0.82 and 0.85 obtained for TPMBOSSQ and PPMBOSSQ respectively. The findings of the study indicated that both teachers and principals were of the view that all the elements of MBO are relevant and beneficial in achieving continuous improvement in secondary school management. It was recommended among other things that principals across the three educational zones in Abia State should apply MBO for improved visible morals, delegation of decision-making as well as to aid the identification of more promotable people and also improvement of institutional image.
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