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Mission Analysis: An Operational Approach


A mission statement is a broad statement, which precisely states and defines what the organization wants to achieve. It defines the greater intent of the organization and it gives the overall goals of the firm that provide a sense of direction and guidance in decision making to managers at different levels of management. The mission statement is in writing and communicated to all employees. Therefore, a mission statement provides criteria for strategy selection by the management (Barney & Hesterly 2012).

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Benefits of Mission Statement

  1. it provides strategic direction to the management,
  2. It is a basis for strategy formulation, selection of objectives, priority setting, and resource allocation.
  3. It acts as a marketing tool for the organization.
  4. It reminds the management and non-management staff of their obligation to the organization.
  5. It motivates the clients of the organization, as it appears to be a focus on the organization.

Case Study: Equate Company

“The company is a joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company, Qurain Petroleum Company, The Dow Chemical Company, and Boubyan Petrochemical Company. The company started its production process in 1997 and it supplies high-quality petroleum products to countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia” (About EQUATE 1995).

Elements of a mission statement

  1. Purpose – It represents the firm’s responsibility to stakeholders. EQUATE aims at the provision of quality products.
  2. Strategy – The commercial logic and game plan for the organization.
  3. Policies and standards of behavior – It has to be converted and included in the daily activities of employees.
  4. Values – Refers to the principles of the business, behavior of people, value system, and ethics adopted by the organization (Barney & Hesterly 2012).

According to the company website, About EQUATE, the mission statement is ‘We provide valued products to the world’ (1995).

Negatives of the above mission statement

The mission statement is “far from clear that the terms used to identify the components of a mission such as values, philosophy or strategy are unambiguous or easily reduced to actionable and operational terms by executives” (Nigel & Neil 1994) There is more standard and widely acceptable consensus about the approach of mission analysis and formulation in organizations. According to a study done by Nigel & Neil “Mission statements do not create a sense of mission, it is rather the other way round, and, defining mission is essentially a creative process” (1994). This fact does not help managers in any way while he is evaluating the mission of his organization.

Positives of the mission statement

It enables managers to have enthusiasm towards the articulation of their responsibility, enables managers to build a consensus about the aims of the organization, to understand the significance of events, or to understand their expectations in the organization. Missions shape the corporate culture and they give the organization the charter to survive. Missions assist in strategic planning and line management.

Critique of the mission statement

  1. Mission statements are for public relation purpose. As such, its usage is for external consumption rather than for internal decision-making.
  2. It is a post-ad-hoc statement produced to rationalize its existence to a particular audience.
  3. A mission statement is a wishful thought.
  4. There is ignorance in the implementation of the mission since official goals do not always correspond with the mission statement.


The recommendation towards effective mission statements provides the following methodology, which involves three stages. Firstly, the mission analysis needs four areas, which are, critical success factors, product-market domain, organizational philosophy, and organizational key values. These factors represent the organization’s environment and the broad and narrow dimensions covered by a mission statement. Secondly, there is a need to recognize that there exist different types of mission statements for different purposes and interests. Thirdly, carry out an analysis of internal consistency and external acceptability of the mission statement (Nigel & Neil 1994).

List of References

Nigel, P & Neil, A 1994, ‘Mission analysis: an operational approach’, Journal of General Management, vol. 19 no. 3.

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Barney, B & Hesterly, S 2012, Strategic Management and Corporate Advantage, Pearson, New York.

About EQUATE 1995, Web.

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