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What is the role of the Mission in strategic management?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Reasons why the mission is put first.
    1. Involvement of decisions.
    2. The basic strategic planning model.
  3. The approach of John Argenti.
    1. Argenti's view.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

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. [...]

[...] Various authors do defend his position but the large majority of strategic management literature provides a greater credit to the first developed theory; one where the mission comes as the first step in the strategic management process. Conclusion In conclusion, multiple definitions of an organisation's mission have been established. The point of view and perspective of the author impact its meaning and therefore, influence its theory. The major differences between the theories are due to its associated definitions that are also influenced by the timescale where the theory is placed. [...]

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