Nowadays, a mission statement is a common part of most companies’ strategic planning. They guide employees in their day-to-day work activities and provide customers with information on what to expect from a business. Creating a meaningful and memorable mission statement is extremely important for staying competitive in the market. Unfortunately, there are many companies that fail to formulate it properly, which leads to confusion among both workers and customers. This paper examines the mission statements of different organizations to see if they match the criteria.
Before formulating a mission statement, it is crucial to understand the essence of this concept. The literature suggests that it must state why the company exists, what it does, and who are its customers (Abraham, 2012). In fact, it is an argument of purpose that is utilized by a management team to make strategical decisions (Taiwo, Lawal, & Agwu, 2016). Moreover, it guides employees in their conduct, decisions, and routine work activities, ensuring that it matches the company’s goals.
A good mission statement has several criteria that make it useful and clear. For instance, it should include a description of offered products or services, and for whom they are intended (Abraham, 2012). It should also answer the question of how the business is different from its competitors and whether it incorporates any unique features. At the same time, things like values or objectives should not be included in a mission statement.
Unfortunately, many companies often make numerous mistakes in this part. It can frequently be seen that various mission statements include the description of corporate values, the vision of the organization’s future, and other elements that do not contribute to the purpose. Moreover, they may be vague and contain abstract concepts instead of clearly defining the information according to the criteria mentioned above. Another common issue is that employee opinion is often neglected, and a management team creates a mission statement to its liking (Kopaneva & Sias, 2015). As a result, workers do not necessarily share the formulated purpose.
Analysis of Statements
Even large regional and multinational companies make mistakes when developing a mission statement. For example, Home Depot has included corporate values in it, mentioning such things as care and respect for people, entrepreneurial spirit, and relationship building. Moreover, it contradicts with the requirement of the mission statement to be short and specific. It mentions the customer service, a wide range of products, and competitive prices, but it is impossible to determine what the company does exactly, and the focus is unclear. There is no description of who are their consumers, what are their needs, and how Home Depot is going to satisfy them.
The elements listed in the mission statement fit the current market environment as, for example, they mention competitive prices. However, there is no listing of the company’s core competencies. The overall tone can be viewed as motivating, although it cannot serve as a guide for employees in their activities. It is also difficult to understand whether it increases the level of their commitment. The mission statement is realistic in those parts, where it includes specific elements. However, it is not focused, long, and contains unnecessary information, which prevents it from being memorable. Although Home Depot’s mission statement is clear, it is not possible to understand what is meant by concepts like, for instance, doing the right thing. Finally, there is no mentioning of the image by which the company wishes to be remembered.
The mission statement of Nike appears to be better in its structure. For instance, it does not include any side elements like values or objectives. It also names athletes as their target customers and focuses on them rather than the product. However, there is no explanation of what the consumer needs are, and how they are to be satisfied. The mission statement fits the current market environment, especially since it incorporates the call for innovation and contains a global focus, both of which are currently trending.
At the same time, it is unclear what are the main company’s competencies. Bringing inspiration and innovation may sound motivational, especially combined with international outreach. However, it is unlikely to inspire employee commitment due to lack of clarity and specific purpose. The mission is somewhat unrealistic since it is unlikely for the company to reach every athlete in the world, not talking about providing such abstract things as inspiration. The statement is short and memorable, yet it is not specific and unfocused. It is clear and can be easily understood, but it does not provide any valuable information about the company’s activities. Finally, there is no mentioning of how Nike wants to be remembered as a corporation.
A mission statement works as a guiding tool for customers, employees, and management to ensure that all processes and strategies are aligned to it. There are several criteria that determine its quality and informativeness. The analysis of mission statements has shown that even large multinational companies make mistakes when trying to develop them. Some of the common problems include the lack of focus and specific information, which should consist of the description of products, a target audience, and its needs.
Abraham, S. C. (2012). Strategic management for organizations. Web.
Kopaneva, I., & Sias, P. M. (2015). Lost in translation: Employee and organizational constructions of mission and vision. Management Communication Quarterly, 29(3), 358-384. Web.
Taiwo, A. A., Lawal, F. A., & Agwu, M. E. (2016). Vision and mission in organization: Myth or heuristic device? The International Journal of Business & Management, 4(3), 127-134.