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Mission Alignment

It's not enough just to say it. Mission alignment in actions, practices, policies, and decisions turns a mission statement from a plaque on a wall into a powerful lever to achieve great outcomes. Here's the research...

Aligning organizational policies, procedures, and internal structures with the mission statement has a direct impact on financial performance1,2,4.

Mission alignment is a source of organizational strength.

Alignment among strategy, purpose, and organizational processes leads to increased capabilities and higher performance6,7,9,10.

Mission alignment impacts how people feel about and invest in the organization.

Integrating mission into internal processes leads to higher job satisfaction and stronger organizational commitment.

Mission alignment starts with the relationship between an individual and the organization, and expands to knit employees together in pursuit of the organization's mission. Alignment is personal3,5,8.

Mission alignment promotes good manners and pitching in.

People engage in more extra-role behaviors (i.e., organizational citizenship) when their organization has great mission alignment. Going above and beyond can mean anything from filling the coffee pot to staying late8.

Do a few important things to strengthen mission alignment.

Several factors contribute to mission alignment.

  • Communicate about goals and objectives - make sure people know Why.
  • Shape meaningful and engaging jobs (role clarity, group participation, employee empowerment).
  • Practice habits of strong managerial effectiveness3.

See the difference between knowing What and knowing WHY in action...


  1. Bart, C. K., Bontis, N., & Taggar, S. (2001). A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance. Management Decision, 39(1), 19–35.
  2. Bart, C., & Tabone, J. (1998). Mission statement rationales and organizational alignment in the not-for-profit health care sector. Health Care Management Review, 23(4), 54–69.
  3. Beehr, T. A., Glazer, S., Fischer, R., Linton, L. L., & Hansen, C. P. (2009). Antecedents for achievement of alignment in organizations. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(1), 1–20.
  4. Crotts, J. C., Dickson, D. R., & Ford, R. C. (2005). Aligning organizational processes with mission: The case of service excellence. Academy of Management Perspectives, 19(3), 54–68.
  5. Ford, R. C., Sivo, S. A., Fottler, M. D., Dickson, D., Bradley, K., & Johnson, L. (2006). Aligning internal organizational factors with a service excellence mission: An exploratory investigation in health care. Health Care Management Review, 31(4), 259–269.
  6. Hung, R. Y., Chung, T., & Ya-Hui Lien, B. (2007). Organizational process alignment and dynamic capabilities in high-tech industry. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 18(9), 1023–1034.
  7. Hung, R. Y. Y., Yang, B., Lien, B. Y.-H., McLean, G. N., & Kuo, Y.-M. (2010). Dynamic capability: Impact of process alignment and organizational learning culture on performance. Journal of World Business, 45(3), 285–294.
  8. Schneider, B., Godfrey, E. G., Hayes, S. C., Huang, M., Lim, B.-C., Nishii, L. H., Raver, J. L., & Ziegert, J. C. (2003). The human side of strategy: Organizational Dynamics, 32(2), 122–141.
  9. Smith, T. M., & Reece, J. S. (1999). The relationship of strategy, fit, productivity, and business performance in a services setting. Journal of Operations Management, 17(2), 145–161.
  10. Sun, H., & Hong, C. (2002). The alignment between manufacturing and business strategies: Its influence on business performance. Technovation, 22(11), 699–705.
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