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Writing a Mission and Vision Statement
You cannot develop, implement, and work a strategy if you lack direction; the starting point for organizational direction is a cogent mission and vision statement. This week, the group project is to write a mission and vision statement for a public company: the Hershey Company. Your team is required to prepare a response to Table 2-6 on page 53 of the text.
In the team paper,
Create a one-sentence vision statement for the Hershey Company.
Create a mission statement for the Hershey Company that complies with the nine components and nine characteristics of a mission statement.
The Writing a Mission and Vision Statement paper
Table 2-3 and Page 53
An organization that fails to develop an effective vision and mission statement loses the opportunity to present itself favorably to existing and potential stakeholders. All organizations need customers, employees, and managers, and most firms need creditors, suppliers, and distributors. Vision and mission statements are effective vehicles for communicating with important internal and external stakeholders. The principal benefit of these statements as tools of strategic management is derived from their specification of the ultimate aims of a firm. Vision and mission statements reveal the firm’s shared expectations internally among all employees and managers, and for external constituencies, reveal the firm’s long-term commitment to responsible, ethical action in providing a needed product or service to customers.
The Process of Developing Vision and Mission Statements
As many managers as possible should be involved in the process of developing these statements because, through involvement, people become committed to an organization. A widely used approach to developing vision and mission statements is first to select several articles (such as those listed as Current Readings at the end of this chapter) and ask all managers to read them as background information. Then, managers are asked to individually prepare vision and mission statements for the organization. A facilitator or committee of top managers should then merge these statements into a single document and distribute the draft statements to all managers. A request for modifications, additions, and deletions is needed next, along with a meeting to revise the document. To the extent that all managers have input into and support the final documents, organizations can more easily obtain managers’ support for other strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation activities. Thus, the process of developing vision and mission statements represents a great opportunity for strategists to obtain needed support from all managers in the firm.
Some organizations use discussion groups of managers to develop and modify existing statements. Other organizations hire an outside consultant or facilitator to manage the process and help draft the language. At times an outside person with expertise in developing such statements, who has unbiased views, can manage the process more effectively than an internal group or committee of managers.
When an effective process is followed, developing a mission statement can create an “emotional bond” and “sense of mission” among employees and customers. Commitment to a company’s strategy and intellectual agreement on the strategies to be pursued do not necessarily translate into an emotional bond; hence, strategies that have been formulated may not be implemented. An emotional bond comes when an individual personally identifies with the underlying values and behavior of a firm, thus turning intellectual agreement and commitment to strategy into a sense of mission. Involving marketers and sales representatives in the development of the mission statement and writing statements from a customer perspective could enable firms to create an emotional bond with customers and enhance the likelihood that salespersons would be “on a mission” to provide excellent customer service.
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