a) Definition: A mission statement identifies the scope of a firm’s operations in product and market terms. It answers the question “what is our business?” A mission is the organization’s ‘raison d’etre’, i.e. its reason to be or reason for existence. A mission can be described as ‘the invisible hand’ that guides widely dispersed employees to work independently and yet collectively towards realizing the organization’s goals. In essence it gives the scope of operation of an organization and broadly charts the future direction of that organization.
Components of a good mission statement
A good mission statement should show the firms:
(i) Major customer: It must indicate who the firm targets its products at.
(iii) Technology (mode of production) – must show whether technology is of major concern to the organization.
It must also show the firm’s major concerns or philosophies e.g.
• Commitment to quality
• Concern for growth
• Self concept
• Concern for public image
• Concern for employees
Benefits of a mission statement
The mission statement clearly defines the following:
• The overall company vision.
• Key values which managers must adhere to that is it defines the organisational culture.
• Key goals and objectives, which must be attained.
• Customers to serve and boundaries of operations.
• Customers’ needs to be satisfied.
• Product and service benefits to satisfy customers.
• Technologies by which needs can be satisfied.
• Specification on how the company intends to incorporate its stakeholders’ rights and claims into its strategic decision making for maximization of the stakeholders’ wealth. The stakeholders include customers, shareholders, suppliers and employees.