What Is Mission?

The company mission is - "a broadly defined but enduring statement of purpose that distinguishes a business from other firms of its type and identifies the scope of its operations in product and market terms" (J. A. Pearce ).

The mission contains few specific directives, only broad outlines or implied objectives and strategies. What then is a company mission designed to accomplish?

King and Cleland provide seven good answers:

  1. To ensure unanimity of purpose within the organization.
  2. To provide a basis for motivating the use of the organization's resources.
  3. To develop a basis, or standard, for allocating organizational resources.
  4. To establish a general tone or organizational climate, for example, to suggest a businesslike operation.
  5. To serve as a focal point for those who can identify with organization's purpose and direction; and to deter those who cannot from participating further in the organization's activities.
  6. To facilitate the translation of objectives and goals into a work structure involving the assignment of tasks to responsible elements within the organization.
  7. To specify organizational purposes and the translation of these purposes into goals in such a way that cost, time, and performance parameters can be assessed and controlled.

Phillip Kotler suggests, an organization's mission is viewed as its broadly stated definition of basic business scope and operations which distinguishes it from other organizations of similar types. According Philip Kotler, the mission should stated in light of at least five key factors:

  1. The firm's history
  2. Current preferences of management and owners
  3. Environmental consideration
  4. Available resources
  5. Distinctive competences

The most obvious segmentation of organizations according to mission uses of profit and not profit. More definitively, Peter and W.Richard Scott have identified four major types of organizations:

  1. The business concern, which benefits the owners - for example, Coca Cola.
  2. The mutual benefit association, which benefits the members, which benefits the members themselves - for example, a union or a club.
  3. The serve organization, which benefits its clients - for example, United Way.
  4. The commonweal organisation, which benefits society in general - for example, the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Establishing Organizational Direction: Mission And Objectives
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