Characteristics of a Mission Statement
A mission statement defines the basic reason for the existence of that organisation. Such a statement reflects the corporate philosophy, identity, character,
and image of an organisation. It may be defined explicitly or could be deduced from the management’s actions, decisions, or the chief executive’s press statements. When explicitly defined it provides enlightenment to the insiders and outsiders on what the organisation stands for. In order to be effective, a mission statement should possess the following seven characteristics.
1. It should be feasible. A mission should always aim high but it should not be an impossible statement. It should be realistic and achievableits followers must find it to be credible. But feasibility depends on the resources available to work towards a mission.
2. It should be precise. A mission statement should not be so narrow as to restrict the organisation’s activities nor should it be too broad to make itself meaningless. For instance, ‘Manufacturing bicycles’ is a narrow mission statement since it severely limits the organisation’s activities, while mobility business’ is too broad a term as it does not define the reasonable contour within which the organisation could operate.
3. It should be clear. A mission should be clear enough to lead to action. It should not be a high sounding set of platitudes meant for publicity purposes. Many organisations do adopt such statements but probably they do so for emphasizing their identity and character. For example, Asian Paints stresses ‘leadership through excellence’, while India Today sees itself as ‘the complete news magazine’. The Administrative Staff College of India considers itself as ‘the college for practicing managers’ and Bajaj Auto believes in ‘Providing, value for money, for years’. To be useful, a mission statement should be clear enough to lead to action.
4. It should be motivating. A mission statement should be motivating for members of the organisation and of society, and they should feel it worthwhile working for such an organisation or being its customers. A bank, which lays great emphasis on customer service is likely to motivate its employees to serve its customers well and to attract clients. Customer service, therefore is an important purpose for a banking institution.
5. It should be distinctive. A mission statement, which is indiscriminate, is likely to have little impact. If all scooter manufacturers defined their mission in a similar fashion,there would not be much of a difference among them. But if one defines it as providing scooters that would provide ‘value for money, for years’,like Bajaj, it will create an important distinction in the public mind.
6. It should indicate major components of strategy.
A mission statement along with the organisational purpose should indicate the major components of the strategy to be adopted.
The chief executive of Indal expressed his intentions by saying that his company “begins its fifth decade of committed entrepreneurship with the promise of a highly diversified company retaining aluminium as its mainline business, but with an active presence in the chemical, electronics and industrial equipment business”. This statement indicates that the company is likely to follow a combination of stability, growth and diversification strategies in the future.
7. It should indicate how objectives are to be
accomplished. Besides indicating the broad strategies to be adopted a mission statement should also provide clues regarding the manner in which the objectives are to be accomplished.
COMPONENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE MISSION STATEMENT
Mission statements can and do vary in length, content, format and specificity. Most practitioners and academicians of strategic management consider an effectively written mission statement to exhibit nine characteristics or mission statement components. Since a mission statement is often the most visible and public part of the strategic management process, it is important that it include most, if not all, of these essential components. Components and corresponding questions that a mission statement should answer are given here.
1. Customers: Who are the enterprise's customers?
2. Products or services: What are the firm's major products or services?
3. Markets: Where does the firm compete?
4. Technology: What is the firm's basic technology?
5. Concern for survival, growth, and profitability: What is the firm's commitment towards economic objectives?
6. Philosophy: What are the basic beliefs, core values, aspirations and philosophical priorities of the firm?
7. Self-concept: What are the firm's major strengths and competitive advantages?
8. Concern for public image: What is the firm's public image?
9. Concern for employees: What is the firm's attitude/orientation towards employees?
Well there basic nine components in a mission statement but it can be less than 9 sometimes but a mission statement consisting of 9 components is considered as well written though they provides those components practically in their products or services is something elsemajor components of a mission statement are:1- reason of existence 2- product or services a business is dealing in3- Customers they are targeting 4- market they are serving their products or services5- Area of specialization of USP ( or any thing unique in the product or service a business provide)