Mission Statement

  • Difficult to define accurately
  • A generalised statement of where you are heading from which objectives can be set
  • A more ambiguous and passionate way of expressing an aim

The mission statement is

  • the overriding purpose of the business
  • the reason for its existence
  • a strategic perspective
  • supports the stated “vision” for the future

The mission statement is not

  • a statement of goals or objectives
  • statement of core values
  • how the business intends to compete in the marketplace

See Hierarchy of Objectives

Key audiences for a mission statement

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Investors
  • Society

Purpose, Values, Standards, Strategy

  • Make up core values
  • Often included in the mission statements, or longer term plans

What makes a good mission?

  • A clear sense of business purpose
  • Excites, inspires, motivates, guides
  • Easy to understand and remember
  • Differentiates business from competitors
  • For all stakeholders, not just shareholders and managers

Frequent criticisms of mission statements

  • Not always supported by actions of the business
  • Often too vague or general
  • Could just be for good PR

Internal influences on objectives and decisions

  • Business ownership – profit or non-profit?
  • The relative power of stakeholders
  • Ethics - decisions made on ethical grounds might reject the most profitable options
  • Business culture – “the way we do things around here”
  • Resource Constraints – everyday decisions about deploying limited resources

External influences on objectives and decisions

  • Pressure for short-termism – businesses focus on short-term profit objectives rather than long-term performance objectives due to shareholders demand for return on investment
  • Private limited companies have an easier time focusing on long-term goals than public limited companies, because Ltds typically have closer relationships with their shareholders