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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A mission statement is a formal short written statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides "the framework or context within which the company´s strategies are formulated."[1]

Historically it is associated with Christian religious groups; indeed, for many years a missionary was assumed to be a person on a specifically religious mission. The word "mission" dates from 1598, originally of Jesuits sending ("missio", Latin for "act of sending") members abroad[1].



Mission statements often contain the following:

  • Purpose and aim of the organization
  • The organization's primary stakeholders: clients, stockholders, congregation, etc.
  • Responsibilities of the organization toward these stakeholders
  • Products and services offered

According to Hill, the mission statement consists of: 1. a statement containing the reason for the existence of the organization (mission) 2. a statement of some desired future state (vision) 3. a statement of the key values the organization is committed to 4. a statement of major goals

The mission statement can be used to resolve differences between business stakeholders. Stakeholders include: employees including managers and executives, stockholders, board of directors, customers, suppliers, distributors, creditors, governments (local, state, federal, etc.), unions, competitors, NGO's, and the general public. Stakeholders affect and are affected by the organization's strategies. According to Vern McGinis, a mission should:

Define what the company is
Define what the company aspires to be
Limited to exclude some ventures
Broad enough to allow for creative growth
Distinguish the company from all others
Serve as framework to evaluate current activities
Stated clearly so that it is understood by all

Mission of the company communicates the firm´s core ideology and visionary goals. It should contain the company´s core values, core purpose and visionary goals. While the visionary goals are selected the core values and purpose of the firms should be discovered. Values and purpose are in the company already, the mission just describes them. In that case, the stakeholders are more likely to believe in company´s mission.


Some mission statements are complex, long, and very broad, for example:

Since its inception in 1982, La Unidad Latina has remained on the vanguard of political and community empowerment by developing influential leaders that strive to exert knowledge and power into its peers in order to attain mutual success. LUL is committed to academic excellence, leadership development and cultural enlightenment, enhanced by a diverse cognizant membership. LUL strives to preserve and promote an inclusive intellectual environment for its members, in addition to the general community.[2]

In contrast, some mission statements are simple and direct, for example:

To protect and promote the interests of motorcyclists while serving the needs of its members.[3]

The classic example of the mission statement is the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Hill, Ch., Jones, G. Strategic Management. Houghton Mifflin Company: New York, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-618-89469-7, page 11
  2. ^ Lambda Upsilon Lambda
  3. ^ American Motorcyclist Association
  4. ^ Constitution of the United States
  • Haschak, Paul G. (1998). Corporate statements: the official missions, goals, principles and philosophies of over 900 companies. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0342-X.  
  • Hughes K. et al. (2005). IT Fundamentals. Tertiary Press. Croydon, Victoria. ISBN 0-86458-488-1.
  • Say It and Live It: The 50 corporate mission statements that hit the mark. Patricia Jones & Larry Kahaner. Currency Doubleday. New York, 1995. ISBN 9780385476300

Simple English

A mission statement tells the purpose of a company or organization. Mission statements are meant to keep members that are already a part of the company or organization part of it, but also to help get new members to join.


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