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What is mission? Mission statement


There is no doubt that each business organisation has a mission to achieve regardless of whether the mission is written or not. Most companies develop their mission statements which actually guide their aims and objectives. This article will focus on mission and some relevant issues.

What is mission?

The mission of an organisation is the explicit expression of its central and common purpose, its reason for existing (Plunkett & Attner, 1994). It in fact talks about why an organisation exists.

Definition of a mission statement

When organisations ‘formalize their ideas and commit them to writing, the result becomes the organizations’ mission statement’ (Plunkett & Attner, 1994, p.100). There are some good examples of mission which are useful for understanding mission. For example, Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful (Google, n.d). Has Google already achieved it? Undoubtedly, Google has made information universally accessible. Interestingly, sometimes people say ‘Google it’ in relation to browsing information online.

Importance of a mission statement

Having a clear mission is very important for organisations. It directs the activities of an organisation and helps it achieve its vision. It unites the resources of the organisation to be dedicated to the purpose of its very existence. It also motivates both existing and prospective employees. Without it, an organisation lacks direction.

A mission can be both short and long term. It may sometimes be necessary to modify the mission in line with the changes in the business environment. For examples, Yahoo has changed its mission few times. Organisations need to do everything necessary in order to achieve their mission.

When developing a mission statement, the following may be useful:

Short and clear statement

Easy to understand

Not unrealistic

In a nutshell, having a clear mission statement is of paramount importance for organisations. Therefore, organisations should spend a considerable amount of time to develop a mission statement. It should be noted that organisations may sometimes need to redefine their mission in response to a change in the environments. Indeed, many big companies have done so multiple times in the last decade.

The article publication date: 20 November 2016

Further reading/References

Plunkett, W. & Attner, R. (1994) Introduction to Management. 5th edition, USA: International Thomson Publishing

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Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.

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