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Student's Guide to Mission Statements

Studies suggest that they [mission statements] have a positive impact on profitability and can increase shareholder equity. Can you point to a study?

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Mission statements and their impact on profits is a controversial issue.

I have included some positive references and a detractor. See highlighted on the Word doc. attached.

MISSION STATEMENTS IMPACT PROFITS

A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance
Abstract:
A relationship between mission and organizational performance was modeled by drawing on previous research. The model was tested with data from 83 large Canadian and US organizations. We found that mission statements can affect financial performance, however, not as one might have anticipated initially. Several mediating elements were observed to exist. For instance, "commitment to the mission" and the "degree to which an organization aligns its internal structure, policies and procedures with its mission" were both found to be positively associated with "employee behavior". It was this latter variable which was observed, in turn, to have the most direct relationship with financial performance.
Source - Attached PDF --MissionStatements

How a clear vision and mission leads to more profits
07 Dec 2005 | Dan Bobinski

Here's an experiment you can try: Walk into a company's office and find its mission statement hanging on a wall. Take note of its meanings, and then speak to any five people you meet from that company. Ask them if they know their company's mission.
Chances are you'll hear either five different responses, or the ever-popular, "I don't know." Some people may even laugh at you.
It's no small wonder the majority of employees scoff at mission statements. Usually what we see is fluff
It's no small wonder the majority of employees scoff at mission statements. Usually what we see is fluff - overly vague generalizations that could apply to almost any company, and often they're paragraphs long; too long to be recalled by anyone, and therefore, largely useless.
The problem is made worse when vision and mission statements are intermixed, further clouding their practicality.
At the core of this all-too-common problem is a simple lack of understanding. Ask those same five people you talked to earlier to define "vision" and "mission" and you're likely to get an equally wide range of responses.
So, with the intention of making life more simple and companies more profitable, I offer an easy-to-remember way to create clearly understood - and useful - vision and mission statements.
Here are some definitions (and differences), in very simple terms:
Vision Statement: Where you "see" yourself being; where you want to go

Mission Statement: What you do to get there

In a more practical example:
Vision: Widget Manufacturing will be known worldwide as the highest quality widget producer.
Mission: Widget Manufacturing strives to: ...

Solution Summary

A relationship between mission and organizational performance was modeled by drawing on previous research. The model was tested with data from 83 large Canadian and US organizations. We found that mission statements can affect financial performance, however, not as one might have anticipated initially.

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