The case in this course is an ongoing exercise, meaning that we will be taking an intensive look at one company over the course of our five modules. This session, we will be conducting a strategic analysis of The Coca-Cola Company. In order to be best prepared and perform well on the case assignments, you should complete the Background Information readings and the SLP before writing the Case.
Most companies have something that resembles a vision, mission, set of values, and or stated goals/objectives that define who the company is and how the company plans to do business. However, organizations may not always label these statements properly - calling a vision a mission, or calling their values a set of beliefs. Sometimes, they do not have a mission at all, operating instead on a set of goals.
Hammonds, K. (2007). Michael Porter's Big ideas, Fast Company, 44, Retrieved on August 15, 2011 from: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/44/porter.html
In this assignment, you will be critically evaluating the vision, mission statement, and goals/objectives of Coca-Cola.
Keys to the Assignment
After studying the background materials and completing the SLP, you are in an excellent position to evaluate a company's published mission, vision, values, and objectives/goals. This case asks you to begin your strategic analysis of The Coca-Cola Company by evaluating the company's mission, vision, values and goals. To do this, follow the following procedure:
Step 1: Visit the official company website of The Coca-Cola Company, and identify the company vision, mission, values, and goals.
Step 2: Critically evaluate these elements. Use the criteria in the background materials as well as the readings for the SLP to support your assessment of the quality of the vision, mission, values and goals.
Step 3: Determine which (if any) of the elements consider the goals and needs of specific stakeholder groups. Write down any examples.
Step 4: Consider what changes are needed to improve the vision and mission statements, statement of values, and statement of objectives/goals.
Step 5: In a 4-5 page response, identify the company's mission, vision, values and goals.
Keep in mind that this may not be how the company labels these elements - use your knowledge of such statements to identify them.
Critically evaluate these elements, including consideration of how these elements do or do not account for stakeholder's interests.
Suggest any changes that would strengthen these elements and bring them more into line with what the background readings suggest.
Step 6: Prepare your report with proper documentation of sources, both internal citations and a complete reference list - or footnotes - whichever you prefer.
Step 7: Consider the Case as a formal business report that you are developing for the Board of Directors and CEO as Coca-Cola's consultant. This is a professional document. Follow the format below:
Executive summary: a synopsis of the main points, conclusions and recommendations made in the longer report. If you have never written an executive summary before, or would like a refresher, check this website: http://www.highendfinance.com/CommercialLoans/Docs/07-4%20ES%20Guidelines.doc
Introduction: State the main purpose of the response (thesis statement), what you hope to accomplish, and how you will go about doing it.
Main Body: The "meat" of the answer. Emphasize analysis, not just description. Delineate separate topics or sections with headings.
Conclusion: Summarize in the light of your thesis statement.
Coca Cola Company has executed the most successful beverage strategy of the past 50 years. Its strategic communications, however, fall short of the success of its underlying strategy. Coca Cola advertises a formal mission statement that does little to communicate its strategy to its stakeholders, and should therefore reshape a more specific formal mission statement. Its vision statement is hidden deep within its website, and also falls short of guiding the company's future. While the vision statement more closely aligns with the company strategy, it should also be reshaped in order to provide a more specific tract for future growth and goals.
Coca Cola Company is the most successful beverage enterprise in the United States-it is the largest (as measured by customer volume), among the oldest (125 years in business), and most profitable (with 59 consecutive years of dividend growth), (Coca Cola, 2011). Coca Cola operates under a winning strategy- and when a strategy is working, it should be largely left alone. All that remains is synchronizing all the elements of an organization in order to execute such a strategy with efficiency. The most fundamental purpose of a strategy, after all, is to "inform each of the many thousands of things that get done in an organization every day, and to make sure that those things are all aligned in the same basic direction," (Hammonds, 2001). Coca Cola can refine their operational execution through the use of more relevant and effective mission and vision statements.
COCA COLA'S MISSION
The mission of Coca Cola Company is, "To refresh the world...To inspire moments of optimism and happiness...To create value and make a difference, (Coca Cola, nd). In some respects, this makes for an effective mission statement. For example, it is universally understandable to stakeholders inside- and outside the organization, (Zahorsky, 2011). The mission places a focus on customer experience-clearly defining the expectations of the product. It also references investors, with clear focus on creating value. There is, however, some room for improvement.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: MISSION STATEMENT
Taken out of context, Coca Cola's mission statement could apply to any company, in any industry. There is a vague reference to "refreshment," but the focus of the first statement is on globalization of the market, not on the product. The mission of an organization should address the fundamental purpose for existence, (Adams, nd). Coca Cola's statement, taken as a whole, ...