This research has been a first attempt to establish a relationship between goals (and goal setting) at the organisation wide level and organisational performance in the Australian banking industry. Data was obtained on 16 banks through structured interviews and content analysis of annual reports from 1987 to 1991. In addition to financial performance, this study examined the areas of business, customers, shareholders, staff, and society, where organisation wide goals had been established. Important insight was provided into the overall goals themselves and the way they affected goal setting and activity at lower levels of the organisation. Banks were found to pursue multiple goals that appeared to form a consistent hierarchy of importance, with profit considerations often seen as the most important goal. Work units worked towards their own goals, which were not necessarily set in line with the overall ones. It was also found, that banks with below median financial performance were more likely to have changed their organisation wide goals than the better performing banks. The major conclusion was that sustained, above median, financial performance was positively related to success in striving towards set overall goals.