Publication Date

11-4-2007

Abstract

This study examines whether a mission statement has any impact on running an organization. In particular, it researches the function of a mission statement on a daily basis and its contribution to an organization’s performance. As it is a case study of Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV), the research question to be addressed is: Does the BCTV Mission Statement make any difference to the operation of the organization? A case study methodology proposed by Yin (1994) was used in conducting this research. The unit analysis of this research is the organizational stakeholders of BCTV, who are the Board of Directors, staff, and BCTV members. In analyzing the data gathered I used what Yin (1994) suggests as pattern-matching. I also conducted specific analysis on BCTV mission statements by using content analysis. As a result, I found that the BCTV mission statement did not have any significant influence on inspiring the BCTV stakeholders in running the organization. None of the respondents found the BCTV mission statement inspirational. Accordingly, they were not aware of it on a daily basis and did not consider it as a fundamental source in assessing BCTV’s performance. Based on the content analysis, it seems that the BCTV mission statement also failed to clarify the outcomes that the organization attempts to accomplish. Therefore, it did not give enough clues about the future direction of BCTV. After all, in regard to its function and contributions, the BCTV mission statement tended to just be “organizational window dressing.” The result of this study is applicable for management students, management consultants, and those who work in both profit and not-for-profit organizations. The findings of this study, I believe, are useful to further understanding the role of a mission statement in real organizational life.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Organizational Behavior and Theory

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