Mission, Vision, Values, Objectives and Philosophy of an Organization

Setting of organizational objectives is the starting point of managerial actions. An organisation’s end results for which an organization strives is termed as “mission”, purpose, objective, goal, target etc. Many times these terms are used interchangeably as all these denote end results.

A Mission Statement defines the organization's purpose and primary objectives. Its prime function is internal – to define the key measure or measures of the organization’s success – and its prime audience is the leadership team and stockholders. Mission statements are the starting points of an organisation’s strategic planning and goal setting process. They focus attention and assure that internal and external stakeholders understand what the organization is attempting to accomplish.

Mission and purpose are used interchangeably, though at theoretical level, there is a difference between two. Mission has external orientation and relates the organization to the society in which it operates. A mission statement helps the organization to link its activities to the needs of the society and legitimize its existence. Purpose is also externally focused but it relates to that segment of the society to which it serves; it defines the business which the institution will undertake.

Dimensions of Mission statements:
According to Bart, the strongest organizational impact occurs when mission statements contain 7 essential dimensions.
  • Key values and beliefs
  • Distinctive competence
  • Desired competitive position
  • Competitive strategy
  • Compelling goal/vision
  • Specific customers served and products or services offered
  • Concern for satisfying multiple stakeholders
According to Vern McGinis, a mission should:
  • Define what the company is
  • Define what the company aspires to be
  • Limited to exclude some ventures
  • Broad enough to allow for creative growth
  • Distinguish the company from all others
  • Serve as framework to evaluate current activities
  • Stated clearly so that it is understood by all
Developing a Mission Statement
Structure of a mission statement
The following elements can be included in a mission statement. Their sequence can be different. It is important, however, that some elements supporting the accomplishment of the mission be present and not just the mission as a "wish" or dream.
  • Purpose and values of the organization (products or services, market) or who are the organization's primary "clients" (stakeholders)
  • What are the responsibilities of the organization towards these "clients"
  • What are the main objectives supporting the company in accomplishing its mission
A mission statement explains the company's core purpose and values.
1.   At is most basic, the mission statement describes the overall purpose of the organization.
2. If the organization elects to develop a vision statement before developing the mission statement, ask “Why does the image, the vision exist -- what is it’s purpose?” This purpose is often the same as the mission.
3. Developing a mission statement can be quick culture-specific, i.e., participants may use methods ranging from highly analytical and rational to highly creative and divergent, e.g., focused discussions, divergent experiences around daydreams, sharing stories, etc. Therefore, visit with the participants how they might like to arrive at description of their organizational mission.
4. When wording the mission statement, consider the organization's products, services, markets, values, and concern for public image, and maybe priorities of activities for survival.
5. Consider any changes that may be needed in wording of the mission statement because of any new suggested strategies during a recent strategic planning process.
6. Ensure that wording of the mission is to the extent that management and employees can infer some order of priorities in how products and services are delivered.
7. When refining the mission, a useful exercise is to add or delete a word from the mission to realize the change in scope of the mission statement and assess how concise is its wording.
8. Does the mission statement include sufficient description that the statement clearly separates the mission of the organization from other organizations?
 Mission Statements of Well Known Enterprises
"To solve unsolved problems innovatively" -Mary Kay Cosmetics
"To make people happy.” - Walt Disney

Vision statements reflect the ideal image of the organization in the future. They create a focal point for strategic planning and are time bound, with most vision statements projected for a period of 5 to 10 years.  The vision statement communicates both the purpose and values of the organization. For employees, it gives direction about how they are expected to behave and inspires them to give their best. Shared with customers, it shapes customers’ understanding of why they should work with the organization.
Developing a Vision Statement
1.   The vision statement includes vivid description of the organization as it effectively carries out its operations.
2. Developing a vision statement can be quick culture-specific, i.e., participants may use methods ranging from highly analytical and rational to highly creative and divergent, e.g., focused discussions, divergent experiences around daydreams, sharing stories, etc. Therefore, visit with the participants how they might like to arrive at description of their organizational vision.
3. Developing the vision can be the most enjoyable part of planning, but the part where time easily gets away from you.
4. Note that originally, the vision was a compelling description of the state and function of the organization once it had implemented the strategic plan, i.e., a very attractive image toward which the organization was attracted and guided by the strategic plan. Recently, the vision has become more of a motivational tool, too often including highly idealistic phrasing and activities which the organization cannot realistically aspire.
Value statements define the organisation’s basic philosophy, principles and ideals. They also set the ethical tone for the institution. An organisation’s values are evident in the statements that define the organization and the processes used to achieve its mission and vision.
Developing a Values Statement
1. Values represent the core priorities in the organization’s culture, including what drives members’ priorities and how they truly act in the organization, etc. Values are increasingly important in strategic planning. They often drive the intent and direction for “organic” planners.
2. Developing a values statement can be quick culture-specific, i.e., participants may use methods ranging from highly analytical and rational to highly creative and divergent, e.g., focused discussions, divergent experiences around daydreams, sharing stories, etc. Therefore, visit with the participants how they might like to arrive at description of their organizational values.
3. Establish four to six core values from which the organization would like to operate. Consider values of customers, shareholders, employees and the community.
4. Notice any differences between the organization’s preferred values and its true values (the values actually reflected by members’ behaviors in the organization).
5. Incorporate into the strategic plan, actions to align actual behavior with preferred behaviors.
  • Objectives are the ends toward which activity is aimed-they are the end results to ward which activity is aimed.
  • “Objectives are goals, aims or purposes that organizations wish over varying periods of time”-McFarland
  • “A managerial objective is the intended goal that prescribes definite scope and suggests direction to the planning efforts of a manger”-Terry and Franklin
  • Must be clearly specified
  • Must be set taking into account the various factors affecting their achievement
  • Should be consistent with organizational mission
  • Should be rational and realistic rather than idealistic
  • Should be achievable but must provide challenge to those responsible for achievement
  • Should start with “to” and be followed by an action verb
  • Should be consistent over the period of time
  • Should be periodically reviewed
  • Should have hierarchy
Organisational objectives
  • Should have social sanction
  • An organization may have multiple objectives
  • Can be changed
  • Each organization or group of  individuals have some objectives
  • Objectives may be broad or they may be specifically mentioned
  • Objectives may be clearly defined
  • Objectives have hierarchy.
  • Organisational objectives have social sanction, that is, they are created within the social norms.
  • An organisation may have multiple objectives.
  •  Organisational objectives can be changed
  •  To define an organization
  •  To provide directions for decision making
  •  To set standards of performance
  •  To provide a basis for decentralization
  •  Integrate organization, group and individual
The statement of philosophy is defined as an explanation of the systems of beliefs that determine how a mission or a purpose is to be achieved. An organisation’s philosophy states the beliefs, concepts and principles of an organization. 

The nursing service philosophy is a statement of beliefs that flows from and is congruent with the institution’s philosophy. The belief system of the nursing philosophy should reflect the nursing  division member’s ideas and ideals for nursing and should be endorsed by others.

Nursing is a  health care service  mandated by society; the practice of nursing stems from the beliefs and ideals of the nursing service department.
In the first area, nursing theory, the task for the nurse manager is to decide whether and how to incorporate theory. Three different methods may be considered.
  • One method is to use an eclectic approach, selecting ideas and constructs from various nursing theories and incorporating these into the philosophy.
  • A second method is to use one theory throughout the philosophy.
  • A third approach is to adopt a theory, then attach the entire document describing the theory to the philosophy and refer to the theory at appropriate places in the philosophy.
A second set of values related to nursing/nursing practice center around practice, education and research.
  • Values specific to education are essential content for most departments of nursing. The beliefs may focus on the need for continuing education off staff members. The third value related to the concept of nursing practice is research and this include the department’s commitment to applying research findings or supporting others in their research efforts. The beliefs held about the areas of impact of administration will influence  the formation of philosophy. The last content area related to nursing/nursing practice is nursing ‘s role in over all organization.
The patient is the main reason for the institution’s existence, examine patient’s rights. Beliefs concerning patient's rights will be influenced in part by institutional policies and practices .
Nurses are essential in the day-to –day operations of the hospital organization. They are the providers of nursing acts which result in quality, care. To keep the organization functioning smoothly ,it is necessary to address values related to and beliefs about nurses. These values and beliefs center around nurses rights, advancement criteria and responsibilities to other health professionals, as well as professional organizations.

Philosophy of nursing education is the written statement of the believes, values, attitudes and ideas which the faculty as a group agreed upon in relation to the nursing educational programme such as health, disease, nursing, nurse, nursing profession, education, learner, society, patient, nursing education and preparation of nurses.”
Philosophy of f nursing education is a perfect combination of nursing and philosophy of education, more precisely, philosophy of nursing and philosophy of education is the application of the fundamental belief of nursing and education in the field of nursing. In the philosophy of education, importance is given to the students. The objectives formulated with a philosophical basis of education focus on the student life and the all round development.

 Beliefs and values of faculty members regarding god, man, life, health, disease, nursing etc
  • The philosophical values and beliefs of the institution
  • The environment where the education takes place
  • The student and activities
  • Health needs of the society
  • The culture and background of the people
  • Developments in nursing, medicine and allied fields
  • Philosophy of nursing service administration
  • The goals and objectives of the health care delivery system
  • The disease pattern, the health awareness and health facilities available
  • The available resources in terms of man, money and materials
Mission, vision, value statements, objectives and philosophy act as a basis for any organization. So an administrator has to be vigilant while formulating these.

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