Mission Statements for Planning
Critical thinking 2: Principles of Management
Reference: MGT490-Book-Chapter No-05 (Planning)
This chapter has highlighted the role of mission statements as a starting point for organisational planning. In his book, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities and Practices, Peter Drucker said a mission statement should serve as the ‘foundation for priorities, strategies, plans and work assignments’ by providing a precise statement of the organisation’s core purpose. He suggested that in about three sentences a good mission statement would explain who it relates to, what they do, what they stand for and why they do it and that the information provided would communicate to separate, distinct stakeholder groups.
Mission Statements for Planning Sample Answer
The management practice is founded on diverse aspects which cumulatively determine the success levels of an organisation. Strategic planning is a vital management concept which propels an organisation towards the achievement of its goals. Successful plans are guided by a firm mission statement. Peter Ducker postulates that an ideal mission statement ought to help the management in planning, strategising and prioritising. The criteria suggested by Ducker is essential in developing effective mission statements for organisations. Organisations have, in recent days, been modifying their mission statements to reflect their ethical behavior. Mission statements are communicative elements, and their modification has a high convincing power to the stakeholders. Consumers currently prefer to buy from businesses which have high ethical standards. Management by objectives is a popular management tool that encourages evidence-based management. The tool is characterised by cooperation between managers and employees in the development of objectives. Despite the upsides of the tool in management, it poses major risks in contexts where it is misused. These risks can be eliminated by guiding employees on good goal-setting practices.
1. Based on the criteria suggested by Peter Drucker, do business organisations produce mission statements that appear to provide a good starting point for organisational planning? Draw on actual examples to support your answer and critique these examples.
Most medium and large profit and non-profit organisations have developed mission statements which act as foundations of organisational planning. The effectiveness of a mission statement is dependent on its structure (Braun, Frey, & Weisweiler, 2012). There are diverse views on the purposes of mission statements, but all of them assert that mission statements clarify the purpose of an organisation. Peter Drucker postulates that a mission statement should give a clear statement of the organisation’s main purpose (Braun, Frey, & Weisweiler, 2012). According to him, the mission statement should be a basis of an organisation’s priorities, plans, strategies and assignments. This assertion implies that a mission statement ought to be the guiding tool in any organisation and the determinant of the actions of various stakeholders and decision-making processes. Drucker also suggests that a mission statement ought to state the key role players, their roles, their values and the force behind their actions and the information should be directed to distinct stakeholder groups. These criteria suggest that the process of coming up with a mission statement should be thoughtful to incorporate various organisational aspects. A mission statement, according to these criteria, covers the purpose, values, objectives and the stakeholders of an organisation.
Drucker’s criteria on the development of a mission statement is a bit complex and is not evident in the mission statements of most business organisations. Many business organisations have mission statements that do not serve the purpose that they ought to. According to Drucker, the lack of adequate thought in the business mission is a major cause of failure (Horwath, 2005). However, there are some companies with exceptional mission statements which play a huge role in strategic planning.
Starbucks is a leading company in the coffee industry whose mission statement not only fits well in Drucker’s criteria but also has played a pivotal role in the company’s strategic planning. The company’s mission statement is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, one neighbourhood at a time (Starbucks, n.d.).” This example showcases an ambitious statement which clarifies the purpose of the company, its values, objectives and speaks to diverse stakeholders. The statement implies that Starbucks is not only about offering people coffee but also uniting, nurturing, and inspiring them (Rivero, 2015). This statement, to a great extent, informs the corporate activities carried out by the company. Starbuck’s operations are often adjusted to meet the needs of the clients which are collected through various social networking platforms as well as during service in the stores.
General Motors (GM) is a leading multinational automobile provider headquartered in the United States whose operations have been marred by various scandals, including corruption and recall of many faulty automobiles (Wayland, 2029). The company’s mission statement before rebranding was
GM is a multinational corporation engaged in socially responsible operations, worldwide. It is dedicated to provide products and services of such quality that our customers will receive superior value while our employees and business partners will share our success and our stockholders will receive a sustained superior return on their investment (Feldman, 2020).
Even though the statement fits to Drucker’s criteria on the length of a mission statement, it does not offer a strong foundation of organisational planning. The mission statement dwells on excessive defensive claims instead of clearly stating the company’s purpose, values and objectives. The mission statement strains on the credibility of GM, which was, however, confirmed in their operations.
2. There is evidence that over the last decade businesses have modified their mission statements to include more reference to their ethical behaviour. Examine how the content of mission statements has changed and explain why this change has occurred.
Note: Answer the questions thoroughly. Use at least 4 scholarly references to support your arguments. (Expected word count: 400-500 words).
As discussed in the chapter, management by objectives (MBO) is a long established and still widely practised management tool to motivate employees. MBO is informed by goal setting theory, which is a widely researched idea supported in multiple independent research studies conducted among different types of organisation and different types of employee in different countries.
3. Is MBO an example of how management can become an evidence-based profession?
What risks are associated with the use of MBO and how far do you think that guidance on good practice in setting work objectives for employees ensures that these risks can be controlled?
Note: Use at least 3 scholarly references to support your arguments. (Expected word count: 300-400 words)