Nature of support for the mission statement - Marketing Strategy

Mission statements can be put to use in different ways depending on which stakeholders have the dominant influence and what the nature of their support for the vision is. The dominant stakeholder will either be internal or external to the organization. Stakeholders’ attitudes can range from passionate support for the mission to those who will afford more equivocal support (see Figure below).

  • Faint support :A mission statement is likely to be paid lip service where strategic decision making is dominated by internal managers that view other stakeholders and corporate governance in general merely as constraints. In these circumstances a mission statement has little influence on the strategic developments of the organization.
  • Passionate support :Where the strategic process is dominated by internal managers who have a close identification with the values and philosophy of the organization, the mission statement will be central to their actions. These managers will use the mission statement as a vehicle to drive the corporate aims and aspirations through the organization.
  • Dissipated mission:If strategic decisions are the territory of external stakeholders, whose overriding concerns are to do with corporate governance, then regulation and process will dominate the enterprise. The mission will become lost in the day-to-day routines of compliance with the regulations. Bureaucracies are classic examples of this type of organization, where the original mission of the organization is lost in the day-to-day paperwork and strict regulations that have to be adhered to at all times.
  • Non-consensual mission :The opposite of the previous situation is where external stakeholders that hold passionate ideological views dominate the strategic process. When this occurs it can become difficult to develop a mission statement that is acceptable to the different stakeholder groups. Alternatively the mission becomes a highly political one. One example is of state-owned industries that needed to shed production capacity and jobs in order to become competitive. These industries suffered because stakeholder groups, such as governments, could not support the organization’s strategic decisions because of their own political/ideological position. European governments and unions currently feel unable to support the closure of car plants even though there is clear over-capacity and therefore lack of profitability in the industry.

In summary, the mission statement, or mission and statement of strategic intent, operates as a guiding light that acts as reference point when making strategic decisions in general and when forming objectives in particular.

Level of adoption of a mission statement

Level of adoption of a mission statement


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