In the business world, one that is becoming evermore difficult to be competitive, organisations strive to find other ways of gaining a competitive advantage over one another. Organisations need to think about processes that allow them to find back a correct level of competitiveness amongst the others. Those processes can be defined as strategies that are made in short-term or long-term perspectives and that help organizations to achieve objectives. Strategic management is used to fulfill this advantage and becomes a company's key solution. There are several steps and components in strategic management, the Mission being one of these. We will discuss and emphasize the place and role of the mission in this complex process. It is apparent that J. Argenti does not agree that the mission should be the first step in the strategic management process. However, the majority of other authors believe that the mission of a company or an organisation does come first, preceding all other steps as the basis of the strategic management process and its implementation.
[...] Argenti defines mission statements as being unstable, and with it, disagrees with other authors who assume that the mission statement will remain stable. He believes that the mission and mission statement should evolve according to and be influenced by the management strategy. Nevertheless, if we compare J. Argenti's point of view with that of others (representing the large majority), to the other definition of the mission (shared by the majority of those involved in strategic management literature), a major difference between the two approaches is established. [...]
[...] The essence of the mission states that it must not change with time, so, in this theory, a case of inconsistency makes its first appearance. It is impossible for the mission to be defined by something that concludes before it actually begins. To go a bit further, the mission of a company must be the expression of the organisation's philosophy, values, purpose, ‘raison d'être' and it must consider the ‘Ashridge Mission Model'. If the mission is the result of the strategy analysis, it has to contain the same ideas and evolve with the strategy; it is not the purpose of the mission. [...]
[...] Therefore, the idea of defining the mission involved in the strategic management process is difficult. Campbell and Tawaday's (1990) Ashridge Mission Model defines and divides the concept of the mission into four elements: Purpose: ‘raison d'être' of the company Strategy: the competitive position and distinctive competence of the company Standards and behaviors: the policies and behavioral patterns that underline the distinct competence and the value system of the company Values: what the company and its employees believe in This model includes two historic schools, the Strategic School and the Ethics School. [...]
[...] We will define and explain the role of the Mission in the Strategic Management Process, then we will examine the cases and theories that incorporate the Mission into the first step of the process, and finally, we will examine the theory of J. Argenti where the Mission is not listed as the first step in the process. To conclude, we will devise where the mission should be placed in regards to the strategic management process. Why do we usually put the mission first? [...]
[...] In other words, the mission must be elaborated on following the general environment of the company in any approach. Then, the placement of the mission should come prior to the management strategy but also be preceded by the environment analysis. Its role is to define what the company does, how, and why. The mission is the result of an accurately stated analysis and gives organisation reachable, long-term goals. Bibliography Books Thompson, John. L., Strategic Management, awareness and change, 3rd edition, International Thomson Business Press Harigopal, K., Management of Organizational Change, Leveraging Transformation, SAGE Kay, John, Foundations of Corporate Success, Oxford University Press Johnson, Gerry and Scholes, Kevan, Exploring Corporate Strategy, 7th edition, FT Prentice-Hall Alkhafaji, Abbass F., Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, and Control in a Dynamic Environment, Haworth Press Lamb, R. [...]
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