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Mission Statements Drive Purpose

Mission Statements drive purpose. Every organization exists to fulfill a purpose. Research tells us that a clear mission statement is a must.

As a strategic tool, mission statements drive purpose.

Mission statements communicate the core identity of an organization to current employees, prospective employees, current and prospective customers, and the general public5,10,11.

Hear an example of capturing WHY in a mission statement:

Make sure your mission presents a compelling challenge.

Mission statements drive purpose best when they capture a compelling challenge. Satisfaction with the stated mission influences overall business performance and whether the mission is achieved3,4,5.

Mission statements - especially those that focus on values, purpose, and distinctiveness - positively impact a business's financial performance. Research evidence shows impact on: profit margin, stock market return, earnings per share, and return on investment5,7,8,9,11,14.

Want innovation? Put it in your mission.

Mission statements drive purpose beyond the day-to-day. Mission statements directly impact an organization's innovation behaviors and practices1,2,5.

Mission statements influence job applicants.

Authentic mission statements attract people who fit your company's values and personality. Good fit decreases turnover12.

People love and keep jobs in mission-driven organizations.

People who are satisfied with and committed to their company’s mission:

  • are more satisfied with their jobs overall
  • are less likely to leave their company5,6,13

People thrive on purpose, especially when we're able to translate from a collective purpose to our unique individual contribution:


  1. Bart, C. K. (1996). The impact of mission on firm innovativeness. International Journal of Technology Management, 11(3/4), 479–493.
  2. Bart, C. K. (2000). The relationship between mission and innovativeness in the airline industry: An exploratory investigation. International Journal of Technology Management.
  3. Bart, C. K. (2001). Measuring the mission effect in human intellectual capital. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 2(3), 320–330.
  4. 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.
  5. Braun, S., Wesche, J. S., Frey, D., Weisweiler, S., & Peus, C. (2012). Effectiveness of mission statements in organizations – a review. Journal of Management & Organization, 18(4), 430–444.
  6. Brown, W. A., & Yoshioka, C. F. (2003). Mission attachment and satisfaction as factors in employee retention. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 14(1), 5–18.
  7. Desmidt, S., Prinzie, A., & Decramer, A. (2011). Looking for the value of mission statements: A meta‐analysis of 20 years of research. Management Decision, 49(3), 468–483.
  8. Green, K. W., Jr., & Medlin, B. (2003). The strategic planning process: The link between mission statement and organizational performance. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 2.
  9. O’Gorman, C., & Doran, R. (1999). Mission statements in small and medium-sized businesses. Journal of Small Business Management, 37(4), 59.
  10. Pearce, J. A. (1982). The company mission as a strategic tool. MIT Sloan Management Review, 23(3), 15–24.
  11. Pearce, J. A., & David, F. (1987). Corporate mission statements: The bottom line. Academy of Management Perspectives, 1(2), 109–115.
  12. Schneider, B. (1987). The people make the place. Personnel Psychology, 40(3), 437–453.
  13. Seok Eun Kim, & Jung Wook Lee. (2007). Is mission attachment an effective management tool for employee retention? An empirical analysis of a nonprofit human services agency. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 27(3), 227–248.
  14. Sheaffer, Z., Landau, D., & Drori, I. (2008). Mission statement and performance: An evidence of “Coming of Age.” Organization Development Journal, 26(2), 49–62.
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