Value of Mission and Mission Statement

Topics: Mission statement, Statements, Strategic planning Pages: 6 (1669 words) Published: November 21, 2010

Value of Mission and Mission Statement


Through the mission statement, the managers and associates in the firm attempt to clearly articulate their long-term goals and what makes their organization special and worthy of people's attention. According to Graham (2004) a mission statement thus expresses the values of the members of the organization. Haschak (2006) says that a mission statement focuses the efforts of all in the organization so that all are more likely to be "on the same page"; this better enables the firm to survive and to achieve long-term profitability and growth. This statement can then serve as a basis for shared expectations, long-range planning, deciding priorities, and performance evaluations.


A mission statement that is developed systematically and is comprehensive is an invaluable tool in directing and implementing policy (Collins, 2004). A mission statement thus serves as a guide to top managers when they make strategic decisions on the deployment of the organization's resources. Without it a manager may make decisions on the basis of one's biases and concern for "turf" (Foster, 2003). A clearly stated mission statement enables a manager to focus on the long-range goals of the organization as a whole and not on the manager's particular priorities or preferences. Such a mission statement also provides a sense of shared expectations for people in the organization. It is important to give such guidance today, given global operations and people working in different countries and cultures. Thus, the mission statement specifies values and goals and provides a unity of direction that is intended to include many nations, peoples, and generations (Murphy, 2006).

From outside the organization, one can view a mission statement as an instrument for learning about the goals of the organization, as well as its likely planning strategies. For a potential employee or customer, a mission statement may be a principal reason why one might seek or reject joining the firm as an employee or purchasing the firm's product or service (Graham, 2004). Thus, a mission statement communicates a description of the firm to prospective employees, customers, and other stakeholders, so that they may decide if they want to be involved with the firm.

Without a mission, a person or an organization risks wasting valuable time and resources by engaging in activities that do not contribute to attaining their goals. Indeed failing organizations often waste much of their time and effort on actions that have little longterm benefit for the organization. Once an organization grows beyond the few people who can have daily face-to-face contact, it becomes important to specify and write out the firm's mission and code of conduct (Abrahams, 2005).

Developing a mission statement for an organization forces the founders, top managers, and board of directors to articulate the goals of the firm in a clear, cohesive way. In a process that acknowledges the contribution of all people in the organization, these goals are then commented on by associates in the firm and are ultimately made clearer, more accurate, and more complete by an interactive process. Individuals in the organization also achieve a heightened sense of purpose when they reflect on and internalize the goals of the organization (Collins, 2004). The mission statement can be amplified by following it with important, more specific goals and objectives of the organization. Thus, the mission statement itself can be kept relatively brief, ideally, a few sentences that can be remembered, but additional important items can also be included.

According to Murphy (2006) more than 90% of large firms possess a mission statement and a code of business conduct. Formulating a mission statement can be a valuable experience for the members of the group that is seeking to clarify their goals, although it is not always...

References: Abrahams, J. (2005). _Mission statement book: 301 corporate mission statements from America 's top companies._ Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.
Collins, J. C., & Porras, J. I. (2004). _Built to last: Successful habits of visionary companies._ New York: Harper Business.
Foster, T. R. (2003). _101 great mission statements._ London: Krogan, pp 415-19, 613-22
Graham, J. W., & Havlick, W. C. (2004). _Mission statements: A guide to the corporate and nonprofit sectors._ New York: Garland.
Haschak, P. G. (2006). _Corporate statements: The official missions, goals, principles of over 900 companies._ Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Jones, P., & Kahaner, L. (2005). _Say it and live it: 50 corporate mission statements that hit the mark._ New York: Currency Doubleday.
Murphy, P. E. (2006). _Eighty exemplary ethics statements._ Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
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