BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT MODULE 1 BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS & ENVIRONMENT Aims & Objectives “Whenever I am caught between two evils, I take the one I have never tried.” Mae West (1893- 1980) Mission Statements This is the attempt to condense the central purpose of a business’s existence into one statement. A statement of the business’s core aims, phrased in a way to motivate employees and to stimulate interest by outside groups. Communication of mission statements is almost as important as establishing them . There is little point in establishing the central vision for a business – and then not letting anyone else know about it. Question: In what ways do businesses communicate their mission statements What is a Mission Statement? Its not specific and does not contain performance measures. It’s a statement of fundamental purpose of the organization so as to inspire those who work for it. A vision of what the organization wants to be. Boundaries for the organization. Guidance for decision making. A statement of values to guide individual behaviour. A statement of the character of the organization and the customers it seeks to serve. Features of a Well Produced Mission Statement? It outlines clearly the way ahead for the organization. Identifies the business the organization will be in in the future. Provides a definition of success. Provides information and inspiration to their employees. Provides a living statement that can be translated into goals and objectives at each level of the organisation. Note: Objectives which are specific and quantifiable are designed to assist in the achievement of goals set out in the mission statement. Examples Nike – to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world Microsoft – to enable people throughout the world to realize their full potential Greenpeace – exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice Pepsi – be better than Coke! – Look up the mission statements of four other business and share them with the class. How Useful are Mission Statements? They inform groups outside of the business what the central aim and vision is. They can provide motivation to employees and help to guide and direct employee individual behaviour at work. They are not meant to be detailed working objectives but they help to establish in the eyes of other groups ‘what the business is about’. Criticisms of Mission Statements Too vague and general so that they end up saying little which is specific about the business or its future plans. Based on public relations exercise to make stakeholder groups ‘feel good’ about the organization. Virtually impossible to really analyse or disagree with. Often rather general, so it is common for two completely different businesses to have very similar mission statements. Communicating the Mission Statement Communicating the mission statement is almost as important as establishing them. There is little point in identifying the central vision of a business- and then not letting anyone else know about it. Businesses communicate their mission statements in a number of ways: – Published Accounts and other communications to shareholders – Internal company news letters and magazines may draw their title from part of the mission statement. – Advertising slogans or posters are frequently based around themes of the mission statement. Group Task Create a mission statement for the following: – American Standard Company (toilets) – The Estee Lauder Company (cosmetics) – Ford Motor Company (cars) – IBM (computers) – Levi Strauss and Co. (jeans) – Walt Disney Co. (entertainment) Mini Case Study Case: Northern Foods Source: Jones, Hall, Raffo, Business Studies 3rd Edition, Unit 4, page 35.