MBAe section A Term II
A mission statement is a declaration of attitude more than a statement of specific details. A good mission statement allows for the generation and consideration of a range of feasible alternative objectives and strategies And an overly general statement that does not exclude any strategy alternatives could be dysfunctional. Apple Computer’s mission statement, for example, should not open the possibility for diversification into pesticides, or Ford Motor Company’s into food processing.
A mission statement needs to be broad to effectively reconcile differences among and appeal to an organization’s diverse stakeholders, the individuals and groups of persons who have a special stake or claim on the company. Stakeholders include employees; managers; stockholders; boards of directors; customers; suppliers; distributors; creditors; governments (local, state, federal, and foreign); unions; competitors; environmental groups; and the general public. Stakeholders are affected by an organization’s strategies. For example, the general public is especially interested in social responsibility, whereas stockholders are more interested in profitability. Claims on any business literally may number in the thousands, and often include clean air, jobs, taxes, investment opportunities, career opportunities, equal employment opportunities, employee benefits, salaries, wages, clean water, and community services. All stakeholders’ claims on an organization cannot be pursued with equal emphasis. A good mission statement indicates the relative attention that an organization will devote to meeting the claims of various stakeholders. More firms are becoming environmentally proactive in response to the concerns of stakeholders.
An effective mission statement arouses positive feelings and emotions about an organization; it is inspiring in the sense that it motivates readers to action. An effective