Mission statements are a key element of any organization. Ideally, the mission statement should be written at the initial stages of an organization’s life to be a useful tool to guide future organization’s decisions and strategy. However, at the early stages of an organization’s life, the organization might still be under development with the objective and stakeholders not yet well-defined, and therefore, stating the mission so early on, might neglect some important elements. In this paper, the authors explore the difference in mission statement quality between missions that have been created at the birth stage of an organization versus missions that are just explicitly formulated once the organization is already well-established and an underlying implicit mission already exists. The authors use as an empirical setting university research parks.
The authors evaluate mission statement quality using content analysis. The authors then test the differences on mission statement quality between two groups of research parks, those that have followed a creation strategy versus those that have followed a formulation strategy, using mean of differences test.
The authors find that a formulation strategy produces more complete mission statements than the creation strategy. Research parks that have followed a formulation strategy include in their mission statements more references to relevant stakeholders, such as investors, than parks following a creation strategy with respect to their mission statement.
The research setting is Spanish Science Parks. This research setting is appropriate to answer the research question, as two Park creation strategies, planned and unplanned, allow the researchers to clearly differentiate between two mission conception strategies. However, the sample size is rather small.
Research has shown that a well-defined mission helps organizations focus and strategy formulation. The authors’ research offers some guidance on how to achieve a high-quality mission statement which will, in turn, help organizations have a better definition of their purpose.
Research until now has assumed that the mission statement should be formulated at the initial stages of the organization’s life. The authors’ research shows that defining the mission statement later in the process creates higher-quality mission statements that better reflect the organizations purpose and relevant stakeholders.
Alegre, I., Berbegal-Mirabent, J. and Guerrero, A. (2019), "Mission statements: what university research parks tell us about timing", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 46-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBS-11-2018-0191Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited