Vision and Mission: Significance for Organizations

Abstract

Visions and missions are considered by business administrators to be important concepts of strategic management. The statements dictate the company’s future and direction. In addition, they influence employees’ behavior in the job setting. In spite of the extensive research conducted on these elements, some managers and business owners still find it difficult to distinguish between a vision and a mission. In addition, some people consider statements to be ordinary elements with no strategic significance to an organization. To create a distinction between companies, vision and mission statements are personalized. They vary depending on the type of organization.

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In today’s corporate world, the majority of businesses operate on the basis of vision and mission statements. However, research reveals a big number of employees in different institutions are not familiar with the mission and vision of their organization. To enhance familiarity, managers are advised to post the statements in areas where all workers can view them with ease. Well formulated mission and vision reports act as tools that drive a company to greater levels of success.

Introduction

Vision and mission statements are essential elements of a firm’s strategy. A majority of corporations develop reports to act as foundational guides of achieving the set goals (Fred, 2005). Researchers and business leaders use mission and vision statements interchangeably. However, the two are separate entities. A mission report provides direction for all the company’s decision-making. The statement targets leaders, employees, and stakeholders of the business. On its part, “a vision report offers a long term direction” (Abolaji, 2010, p. 21). In addition, it includes a company’s values.

In this research review term paper, the author will examine the importance of both mission and vision statements to an organization. The significance of the two elements will be based on four peer-reviewed journal articles related to the topic of study. For each article used, various aspects will be illustrated. They include the authors’ names, literature review, and research method. Results and findings, discussion, and conclusions and references will be pointed out. To start the research review, the author will begin by analyzing the importance of vision and mission statements for enterprises in the Slovak Republic.

Enterprises in Slovak Republic

The article to be reviewed is written by Papulova (2014). Its title is ‘The Significance of Vision and Mission Development for Enterprises in the Slovak Republic.

Introduction

Not all organizations have vision and mission statements. The reason behind this is because some managers consider the elements to have a similar meaning. In addition, others fail to understand the manner in which both can be defined. When firms are analyzed in terms of vision and mission, a wide range of approaches and styles are identified (Papulova, 2014). For decades, extensive research has been conducted in two aspects. Experts in the business field believe there is no one exact way of formulating the elements for a company. In addition, “organizations should strive to acquire the meaning, value, and importance of mission and vision statements developed” (Mullane, 2002, p. 450).

Literature Review

The formulation of vision and mission reports is part of a firm’s strategic management course. The process comprises of four essential factors. They include environmental scanning, strategy formulation, execution, assessment, and control. The process of developing long term goals and plans is often hindered by changing and unpredictable environments (Abolaji, 2010). To counter the challenges, organizations need to have back up plans which can offer long-term direction. Papulova (2014) considers vision to be a depiction of the future. It guides and ensures a firm’s existence in the corporate world. Due to this, it becomes a vital element for the success of any firm. A mission differs from a vision. The reason behind this is because a mission is not concerned with the future. It defines a business space of conducting its functions. Without a mission, companies cannot prosper.

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Research Methods

To examine the approaches to mission and vision development, the research study focused on the outlook of enterprises towards the two aspects. The researchers evaluated a total of 242 companies in the Slovak Republic (Papulova, 2014). The corporations’ ranged from micro to large. The study was conducted between September 2012 and December 2012. The methods used to gather information were questionnaires and structured interviews.

Results and Findings

On the approaches to vision development, results revealed the companies which lacked a vision statement were 24. Firms in this category were micro and small-sized. 11 out of the 24 stressed they do not even consider developing a vision report. Twenty-two corporations view the reports to be documented without much significance for the organization (Papulova, 2014). Twenty-six consider vision statements to be vital for success. Ninety firms with vision report that the statements were developed by the founder(s). Only four businesses sought aid to formulate their vision. Out of the 242 organizations, 141 consider their visions to be satisfactory.

On the approach to mission, 54 firms did not have mission statements. Fourteen consider the reports to lack any importance. About half of the Companies missions were developed by the founder. Only 1% sought help in the formulation process (Papulova, 2014).

Discussion

From the results and findings made by Papulova (2014), it is apparent that most of those companies that lack both vision and mission statements are small and micro. The reason behind this is because these enterprises do not see the great importance associated with the reports. In addition, “a majority of firms seem to be satisfied with the initial vision and mission statements developed by the owners” (Papulova, 2014, p. 14).

Conclusion

Visions are vital components of all companies in today’s business world. The reason for this is because they dictate the future of the entity. In addition, they inform the necessary changes to be made. Papulova (2014) stresses that statements act as motivations and facilitate success. On its part, missions provide a firm’s primary focus. They point out who the company is and what it does.

The Power of Vision

The article to be reviewed is written by Kantabutra and Avery (2010). Its title is ‘The power of vision: Statements that resonate.’

Introduction

At these current times, the corporate world continues to change with each passing day. Due to this, a majority of managers are faced with the question of what they need to do to remain relevant and competitive in the market. To answer this query, scholars and consultants consider vision and mission to be the key. Kantabutra and Avery (2014) consider vision statements to comprise of various characteristics. They include clarity, stability, conciseness, future orientation, and ability to motivate. Despite the reports being the key to success, “some managers and consultants are faced with the challenge of differentiating between vision and mission statements” (Kantabutra & Avery, 2010, p. 40).

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Literature Review

For a period of about three decades, academicians have stressed the significance of vision to strategy execution, leadership, and change in firms. Today, different organizations have both mission and vision statements (Williams, 2009). However, not all are effective. The reason behind this is because some don not brings out a clear picture of the company’s future and its purpose. Managers should ensure they develop valuable statements. Visions and missions facilitate the transformation process of a company. In the course of developing the reports, managers should be familiar with the concept of weak and strong statements (Kantabutra, 2008). In the corporate world today, a wide variety of factors affect the performance of many companies, both small and large. Kantabutra and Avery (2010) term the elements as vision realization facets. The features which affect the achievement of set vision include organizational processes and systems, staff motivation measures, and communication channels.

Research Method

To examine the importance of vision and mission statements and how managers view them, the researchers investigated retailers in Sydney, Australia, and Thailand, Bangkok. In addition, they examined some of the companies listed as the best to work for by Forbes magazine. The research methods employed to gather information included interviews and observation. In Bangkok, a total of 12 malls were selected for the study. In Sydney, 19 major shopping centers were chosen (Kantabutra & Avery, 2010).

Results and Findings

From the findings and results, the researchers discovered great visions and missions have a positive effect on both employee and customer satisfaction. Statements of businesses situated in Sydney and Bangkok contain all the seven core characteristics stressed by scholars and consultants. In-Depth study analysis of the results revealed: “there is minimal effect on customers and employees in instances where a vision lacked one element” (Kantabutra, 2008, p. 130). In addition, the visions developed by the retailers did not change in instances where they were short-term technological or market transformations.

Discussion

The performance of the business in Sydney and Bangkok reveals that strong visions and missions are crucial to long-term success. More managers and firm owners are getting familiar with the importance associated with statements. In addition, they understand the guidelines for formulating visions and missions. Kantabutra and Avery (2014) stress that the reports need to be brief contain all the company interests, and the primary goals to be accomplished.

Conclusion

Visions and mission statements facilitate better performance. However, for success to be guaranteed, various aspects need to be contained in the statements. They include stableness, clarity, and inspiration. To enhance total organizational performance, managers should encourage their employees to work in accordance with the vision and mission (Woiceshyn & Falkenberg, 2008).

Study of Public Tertiary Institution

The article to be reviewed is written by Phanuel and Darbi (2012). Its title is ‘Of Mission and Vision Statements and Their Potential Impact on Employee Behavior and Attitudes: The Case of A Public But profit-oriented Tertiary Institution.’

Introduction

All organizations, ranging from small to large, profit, and non-profit, consider mission and vision statements to be vital aspects of the strategic management process. Managers of these firms believe the reports have a positive impact on strategy and the overall performance. Phanuel and Darbi (2012) consider vision and mission statements to be the top-rated management instruments utilized by a majority of senior managers of different businesses. They are most preferred because they dictate the daily operations for both employees and leaders. In addition, the reports tend to influence behavior in the work setting, inspire, and ensure high commitment levels. When well implemented and communicated, “vision and mission statements help employees to develop a common and a shared sense of purpose” (William, 2009, p. 55).

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Literature Review

Bart, Bontis, and Tagger (2001) are of the view that different organizations communicate their strategies in diverse ways. Some do so with full knowledge of what vision and mission statements entail. Others tend to be confused about the whole idea and use the terms to mean the same thing. Mission statement’s primary purpose is to define the functions of an organization. The reports do so in accordance with the anticipation and value of the company. The main question answered is, “what business are we in?”. In addition, mission statements determine a firm’s plans in relation to scope, boundaries, and value development (Phanuel & Darbi, 2012).

On its part, visions offer future strategic direction. Different companies develop vision statements because none wishes to remain dormant. The report motivates an organization to work towards the achievement of dreams. According to Bart et al. (2001), the reports are required to complex and ambitious. In addition, they should contain core values. The reason behind this is so as to make a distinction between businesses.

Research Method

To determine the impact of vision and mission statements on employees’ behavior and attitudes, the researcher studied an institution with financial, academic, and administrative sovereignty. The corporate body offers different programs, such as business management and public administration. The participants’ population was 450 employees (Phanuel & Darbi, 2012). The number comprised of workers from all grades. The primary instrument used to gather information was a survey questionnaire. In addition, open-ended and closed questions were asked.

Results and Findings

Out of the 120 employees, 80 males and 40 females returned the survey questionnaires. From the findings gathered, the researchers determined that “the majority of employees had knowledge that the institution has vision and mission statements” (Phanuel & Darbi, 2012, p. 99). Some made the report because they believed such a big institution could not lack a vision or mission plan. Others stressed the body possessed the statements because they had seen them. Despite the difference in knowledge, employees who had seen the statements comprised the majority group. In addition, staff familiar with the vision and mission believed the reports were crucial to the success of the institution.

Discussion

Vision and mission statements of a corporate body should be made known to all employees (Fred, 2005). To ensure staff members have full knowledge, the reports should be availed at the time of employment. In addition, they can be stated in the appointment contracts. Workers familiar with the institution’s vision and mission statements consider the reports to be the road map to success.

Conclusion and Implications

Employees tend to have varying attitudes toward mission and vision statements (Abolaji, 2010). From the study, a majority of workers have positive perceptions of the reports. Due to this, they appreciate the significance associated with the statements. Despite the positive view, members of staff in the lower job groups are less aware of the institutions’ vision and missions.

Top 50 U.S Companies

The article to be reviewed is written by Bratianu and Balanescu (2008). Its title is ‘Vision, Mission, and Corporate Values: A Comparative Analysis of the Top 50 U.S. Companies.’

Introduction

In the business world, the primary goal of each organization is to make profits. The management is charged with the responsibility of ensuring a company gains do not register declines. According to Kantabutra (2008), companies also focus on developing social values and creating competitive advantages. In order to boost profits, firms put more emphasis on productivity, cost reduction, and efficiency. When the elements are well implemented, a firm registers positive growth. Corporate bodies exist to create value for consumers. In relation to this aspect, “businesses are considered to be entities with mission and visions formulated on core values” (Woiceshyn & Falkenberg, 2008, p. 93).

Literature Review

Vision and mission are two different concepts. The reason behind this is because each serves a different purpose in a company. Bratianu and Balanescu (2008) consider vision to be an aspect, which shapes a firm’s future. The notion is not a dream or fantasy of managers and business owners. It is an idealistic picture, which depicts the direction of an organization. In most instances, a vision is developed by a firm’s founder. Corporations, which operate on visionary plans tend to be more powerful and successful. In addition, they are able to adjust and withstand changes, which might crop up in the corporate world.

According to Williams (2009), for a vision to be good, it has to contain six core characteristics. They include powerful, self-determining, purposeful, concrete, emotional, and multi-faced. A mission differs from a vision. The concept incorporates social objectives and the framework for developing competitive gains. In addition, it answers questions such as why the company exists and what it wishes to create.

Research Methods

To analyze the vision, mission, and corporate values of the top 50 companies in the U.S, the researchers grouped the firms into eight categories. To fit in the list of top corporations, an organization had to generate annual revenue of $ 1 billion (Bratianu & Balanescu, 2008). Each of the firms’ vision and mission statements was awarded points on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high). A business without vision, mission, or value statements was awarded zero points. The reports were garnered from the official websites. The research methodologies employed were qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Results and Findings

From a comparative analysis of the companies, 50% have posted their value reports on the official website. 34% have put up their visions only. The total percentage of the firms which have posted both vision and mission statements is 54 (Bratianu & Balanescu, 2008). A majority of the companies’ values, missions, and findings were well elaborated and had the core characteristics required.

Discussion

Vision, mission, and value statements are a core part of any business. An analysis of the top 50 companies reveals each had one, two, or the three reports. However, differences were in the quality of the statements. Some were powerful compared to others. In addition, some had all the six core characteristics, while others contained a few (Bratianu & Balanescu, 2008). The nature of the statements is what resulted in the creation of eight groups.

Conclusion and Implications

Each research carried out continues to reveal the significance of mission, vision, and value statements. The three concepts tend to define the essence of a corporation’s operations to the stakeholders (Williams, 2009). Despite many businesses having statements, the research shows that each has its own capacity working in accordance with the set plans.

Comparative Discussion

Key Points in Each Article

Article #1

Not all companies have a mission or vision statement (Phanuel & Darbi, 2012).

The elements are two distinct entities with varying purposes.

Article #2

Different companies have vision and mission statements. However, the effectiveness of some is questionable. Good visions comprise of seven unique characteristics (Kantabutra & Avery, 2010, p. 41).

Article #3

Vision and mission statements impact organizational performance in a positive way. The concepts facilitate the creation of a common and a shared sense of purpose among employees in a company (Bart et al., 2001).

Article #4

Each company has its own capability of working towards the set vision, mission, and values. A good vision has six core characteristics (Bratianu & Balanescu, 2008, p. 21). In addition, it is developed by the company’s founder.

Comparison of Selected Key Points

Information from the four articles reveals scholars share similar views on vision and mission statements. To begin with, a majority of companies have vision and mission and statements. However, their power tends to vary. A good vision comprises of about six to seven core characteristics. In addition, visions of most companies were developed by the business owner (Papulova, 2014). The four articles portray the difference between vision and mission. One is concerned with the future, while the other defines the nature of the company. Despite the importance of mission and vision reports, not all firms have them. The reason behind this is because some managers do not understand what the concepts entail.

Insights of Shared Comparisons

For a vision to be powerful, it has to contain the seven or six-core characteristics. However, the lack of a few does not mean the vision is weak and cannot lead a company to success (Fred, 2005). Mission statements are core parts of an organization’s strategic management. The concept dictates the direction of the company and the space of operation.

Conclusion of Shared Comparisons

Vision and missions are vital for the success of all organizations ranging from small to large. In addition, both the profit and non-profit corporate bodies value the statements. Powerful visions tend to have a long-term positive impact on the business (Abolaji, 2010). Due to this, the company is guaranteed more gains and competitive advantages.

Conclusions and Implications

Conclusion

Vision and mission statements motivate and dictate employees’ behavior in the work setting. The concepts tend to represent the shared values of an organization. Despite the importance of vision and mission statements, numerous studies reveal most small businesses do not value the reports (Papulova, 2014). Some of the few micro organizations which have them do not present them to the employees.

Implications

In most organizations, “not all workers are familiar with the vision and missions set in place” (Williams, 2009, p. 60). Due to this, business managers should come up with measures to ensure the statements are available to all employees. Vision and mission statements should be posted in areas where all workers can see them at ease. The places include hanging on the walls of the business premises.

References

Abolaji, J. (2010). Interface between corporate vision, mission and production and operations management. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 10(2), 18-23. Web.

Bart, C., Bontis, N., & Tagger, S. (2001). A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance. Management Decision, 39(1), 9-18. Web.

Bratianu, C., & Balanescu, G. (2008). Vision, mission and corporate values: A comparative analysis of the top 50 U.S. companies. Management & Marketing, 3(3), 19-38. Web.

Fred, D. (2005). Strategic management: Concepts and cases (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall. Web.

Kantabutra, S. (2008). What do we know about vision?. Journal of Applied Business Research, 24(2), 127-138. Web.

Kantabutra, S., & Avery, G. (2010). The power of vision: Statements that resonate. Journal of Business Strategy, 31(1), 37-45. Web.

Mullane, J. (2002). The mission statement is a strategic tool when used properly. Management Decision, 40(5), 448-455. Web.

Papulova, Z. (2014). The significance of vision and mission development for enterprises in Slovak republic. Journal of Economic, Business and Management, 2(1), 12-16. Web.

Phanuel, W., & Darbi, K. (2012). Of mission and vision statements and their potential impact on employee behavior and attitudes: The case of a public but profit oriented tertiary institution. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(14), 95-109. Web.

Williams, K. (2009). Strategic management. New York, N.Y.: DK Pub. Web.

Woiceshyn, J., & Falkenberg, L. (2008). Value creation in knowledge-based firms: Aligning problems and resources. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 22(2), 85-99. Web.

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