“A mission statement describes an organisations basic purpose”. Using examples illustrate your answer; explore the idea that mission statements should reflect an organisations purpose. Introduction This essay is aimed at understanding what a mission statement is, why they are made and whether or not it reflects an organisations purpose. The essay will start by defining mission statements it will also be describing, identifying and discussing why mission statements fail, why they are made in d first place and whether they are really needed at all.
This work will also include examples of reasonable mission statements and mission statements that have failed as a result of including prepositions that are unnecessary and in most cases unachievable in the business society. This essay also intends to help educate me on how to write a mission statement that is realistic, effective and reflects an organisations purpose. Most organisations exist to make profits, provide the community with products, employment and overall economic prosperity.
In order for an organisation to make customers or individuals believe that profit does not seem to be the primary purpose of the organisation which it is as the profit made is for the organisation to cover taxation, creation of employment, expansion and all round success for the organisation but some organisations want to seem perfect so they come up with mission statements in order to seem more efficient, more responsible and in some cases environmental friendly, organisations come up with fantastic mission statements to cover up their flaws.
Mission statements are used by 80% of UK companies. Mission statements which could also be referred to as statements of purpose which is not suppose to commit an organisation to what it must do in order to survive neither should it contain meaningless superlatives like maximum, best optimum or biggest as this superlatives have not been achieved in the business environment, instead it should portray what the organisation chooses to do in order to thrive or succeed as that the most important goal to most organisations if not all. Defining, Understanding and Writing a
Mission Statements. Developing a mission statement is an important aspect in strategic management, it a process that most occur when starting a new business or a company. A successful mission statement should identify the essential, unique purpose that differentiates a business from other organisations of its kind, it should also identify the scope to which the business’s operations in product and market terms, a mission serves as a statement of purpose that shows an organisations product or service, markets, customers and philosophy.
A mission statement is defined as one that portrays an organisations identity rather than the restrictions placed on the firm by any customer or individual, i. e. what broad products or services it intends to offer its customers. An effective statement should be brief enough for an individual whether it’s a customer or an employee to easily describe the organisations purpose and ideals in less than 30 seconds, it should also helps to please people’s needs to produce something significant, to help others, to beat opponents and earn their opponents respect and that of the society as a whole.
The mission statement also gives readers a window on the raison d etre of the company, it was initially designed as a way by which potential shareholders and investors could recognize the purpose of the company that they intended to invest in.
Most organisations use their mission statements as a publicity tool to draw more attention to the organisation, this is some cases is not the most intelligent thing to do because when a mission statement is perfectly written using unachievable superlative customers tend to believe these statements and when their expectations are not reached it turns out to be a disaster for the organisation as the negative word of mouth spreads about the organisation which will affect the way the organisation is perceived and this will cause the whole essence of a mission statement to be defeated.
If organisations want their mission statements to reflect their basic purpose even in the future they must identify what their unique responsibility will be, how this is shown in a mission statement can make a tremendous difference in any organisation, an example of such mission statement is that of Cadbury Schweppes. “Cadbury Schweppes has explained its task as improving on its tradition of quality and value to provide brands, products, financial results and management performance that meet the interests of shareholders, consumers and employees, customers, suppliers and the communities in which it operates. This mission statement summarizes the present view of the organisations purpose without restricting possible future development. Mission statements of this order are not very common. This is because they are straight to the point, unique and wide in scope and not all mission statements have such qualities. These types of mission statements are said to be long in rhetoric in the sense that they identify the organisation without providing a specific approach to dealing with a target market. Objectives are usually expressed in mission statements in terms of profit, market share, growth or all three in some cases.
These terms are often referred to as primary objectives, these are objectives that must be attained if the organisation intends to survive and succeed. Hence, whilst the mission statement is a relatively abstract statement of the organisations purpose, the corporate objectives, aims and goals are a combination of the grand plan and an idea of how it can be achieved. These objectives are not just intended to show that the organisations intend to develop, they also want to demonstrate how much they can penetrate the main market. T. Hannagan: Concepts & Practices 5th edition). Mission statement ensures simplicity for shareholder and workers as well so they have some confidence to a certain level as to any potential use of their resources be it capital investments from shareholders or labour from the employees. Mission statements are intended to ensure that all stakeholders are clear on the overarching purpose of the company so each person in the organisation can be focused on the same goals and objectives.
When writing a mission statement the company goal and its ideals should be put into consideration, it is advisable to read existing mission statements bad or good in order to have a clear understanding of what mission statements are suppose to be like. A mission statement should contains words that the stakeholders of the company believe in, the use of realistic words is advised in order for the mission statement to be very convincing to both its customers and its stakeholders.
It is also very important that the mission statement is able to hold up to the changes that will definitely come up in future in order words it should be flexible, mission statements should be kept short, it has been noticed that the best mission statements are those ones that are kept short, the broader the mission statement the easier it is to comprehend. These are the basic guidelines to writing an effective mission statement. Key Issues with Mission Statements.
There are several key problems with mission statements and most importantly, with firms setting a clear direction. In order to understand why a lot of mission statements are bad, we need to find out what may be wrong with some mission statement of today. As stated earlier on in the essay that most organisations write their mission statements for public value and such statements are easily found out as they tend to use words that will only make customers and others feel good about the firm e. g. est, there actually nothing wrong with being the best but that is not the essence of a mission statement, that word does not tell customers and stakeholder where the organisation is going and why, a firm’s mission statement is completely meaningless if it has no programs in place to implement state-of-the art strategies that keep the firm ahead of the competition, while providing good outstanding customer service and value. Stakeholders and Mission Statements Stakeholders as defined by J. L Thompson are those individuals both internal and external, who have a stake in, and an influence over an organisation.
Examples include customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, community, financial bodies, government etc. The most important stakeholders are those with the most to lose from the organisation’s actions, this is not the same in every organisation, granted the employees may have a lot to gain from the success of an organisation and a lot to lose from the failure of the organisation but the financial bodies fund the organisation and receive interest from it as well so to an extent they have the most to lose or gain depending on the situation of the organisation.
The financial bodies and shareholders depending on the percentage of their shares hold a stronger position compared to all the other stakeholders, the financial bodies in particular are in the most powerful positions and their decisions can make or break the organisation so therefore they have the right to dictate the mission statement of the organisation as they are the people that defines the organisations purpose, they do not necessarily run the organisation but have the power to change the organisations purpose if t pleases them. The employees are involved with the mission statement as they are required to render services as promised in the mission statement to the customers and all other stakeholders, by so doing their employment, level of pay and all other benefits are stable. There are four different types of organisational structures namely; functional, web, matrix, and the cluster structure. Employees can play roles in the writing of the mission statement depending on the type of organisational structure the firm is running.
If an organisation operates using a functional or web structure the possibilities of the employees contributing to the writing of the mission statement is almost impossible because there is usually a central figure that sets the procedures and these procedures must be followed. There is no relationship between the central figure and the floor workers, so clearly the central figure or the boss as some may call it writes the mission statement. These organisational structures reinforce managerial control.
Organisations running the matrix and cluster structure may involve their employees in the writing of the organisation’s mission statement as these structures allow more flexibility so there is a possibility that the organisation may seek the assistance of it employees to help in the writing of the organisation’s mission statement. “‘Stakeholder mapping’ is a process of analysing their influence on a company and how anxious each group is to impress its expectations on the organisations choice of strategies.
Strong trade unions may be able and interested in exerting considerable pressure on the choice of strategy, but if trade unions are weak then the interests of the employees may not be an important pressure on the company. If particular employees are short in supply, this may be because they possess essential skills and competencies; their influence on strategic choice will be greater. ” (T. Hannagan: Concepts & Practices 5th edition).
Examples of Mission Statements that reflects its organisation’s basic purpose Shell Oman marketing mission statement- “we shall continue to deliver best value to our stakeholders by providing superior offerings to our customers, maintaining our high financial performance and improving our standings as a good corporate citizen of Oman by aligning our direction in long term sustainable fashion”. Shell Mauritius (Liquefied Petroleum) mission statement- “to safely market and distribute energy and petrochemical products while offering innovative value added service”.
Shell is a very big, successful and highly reputable company that operates in different market sectors, as big as shell is its mission statements in the different sectors it operates manages to identify what it intends to do in the most comprehensive words, Shell as successful as it is has avoided superlatives such as maximum, most admired etc. The above mission statements contain words that are very well achievable and most of these goals have been achieved by shell following my research.
These mission statements are a good example of what a mission statement should be, straight to the point and written in understandable English, it also give its readers an idea of the kind of businesses it is involved in. It is important that mission statements avoid words that may implicate when a slight mistake made because one fault made by the organisation can erase all the good deeds they have been responsible be it with their employees, customers or the society as a whole.
Another mission statement that i found and took particular interest in is that of the Coca Cola Company. The Coca Cola Company has two different mission statements; it has a separate one for its stake holders and another for the general public. The Coca Cola mission statement for its stakeholders- “the Coca Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone it touches. The basic proposition of our business is simple, solid and timeless.
When we bring refreshment, value, joy and fun to our stakeholders, then we successfully nurture and protect our brands, particularly Coca Cola. That is the key to fulfilling our ultimate obligation to provide consistently attractive returns to the owners of our business” The Coca Cola mission statement for the general public-“everything we do is inspired by our enduring mission * To refresh the world….. in body, mind and spirit * To inspire moments of optimism… hrough our brands and actions * To create value and make a difference… everywhere engage” The first assumption a reader would have when he or she discovers that Coca Cola has two mission statements, will be that they are not certain on the main purpose of their company but these two mission statements have shown that they are well aware of what they intend to achieve. The words that have been used in the above mission statements were chosen carefully as the mission statement are two different statements but they mean the same thing.
The values are consistent with the stakeholder version of the mission and refreshments and values are echoed in addition to inspiration. The mission statements are lengthy but at the same time very easy to understand because of the use of straight forward words. There is a lot of competition in the grocery sector today; there is Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury’s, are the major ones battling with each other. I have gotten the mission statements for the three different companies/ organisations. Tesco’s mission statement-“Creating value for customers to earn their lifetime loyalty”
Sainsbury’s mission statement-“our mission is to be the customer’s first choice for food, delivering products of outstanding quality and great service at a competitive cost through working faster, simpler and together”. ASDA’s mission statement-“to be the UK’s best value retailer exceeding customer need. Always”. These three mission statement are ideal for the kind of business the organisations are carrying out. Mary Kay is a successful make up company that is used by women all over the world notwithstanding the race or colour of the woman. Mary Kay’s mission statement-“to give unlimited opportunity to women”.
The problem with this mission statement it does provide any knowledge of any kind to its readers, therefore people that read it are not aware of the kind of opportunities it offers women as they do not even know what the business is about, the kind of product is produces, this mission statement is a very vague one. Mission statements are not very helpful to the organisation. CONCLUSION This essay has helped to increase my knowledge on mission statements and their problems, how to write a good mission statement that portrays an organisations identity rather than the limits placed on the firm by ndividual. I have found out that some organisations write mission statements so it can be used as a publicity. I believe if firms/ organisations had more realistic mission statements they would attract more customer and therefore make more profit which is the main goal of every profitable organisation.
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