The paper "Mission Statements, Official Goal Statements and Organizational Legitimacy" is a good example of business coursework. This paper is particularly interested in showing how mission statements and official goal statements are used to strategically and systematically distort organizational communication to provide organizations with genuine legitimacy. The central argument is that mission statements and official goal statements provide organizations with genuine legitimacy. In order to support the thesis statement, this paper discusses the corporate conceptions of mission statement using different theories such as the Theory of Communicative Action. Key Concepts: mission statement, organizational legitimacy, genuine legitimacy, official goal statements Discuss whether you think mission statements and official goal statements provide organizations with genuine legitimacy? Introduction Mission statements are communicative tools that provide organizations with strategic focus and managerial direction.
In addition, the organizational goals and direction or sense of purpose that are expressed by mission statements and official goal statements give organizations identity. This sense of identity can be termed as having a sense of legitimacy. On the other hand, legitimacy can be defined as the quality of being genuine or valid. Ashford and Gibbs (1990, p. 177) provides a more detailed description of legitimacy as social justice as a “ social judgment that is accorded to an organization” by the public or its employees. Corporate mission statements and official goal statements are two terms largely used in strategic management as critical tools of managerial practice.
This is because a mission statement helps an organization on issues of immediate concern hence showing the focus of an organization to the public. According to Vizeu & Matitz (2012), a mission statement is a critical management tool because it gives an organization and its activities a sense of direction.
A body of literature has illustrated that a mission statement can effectively build and communicate a desirable image of an organization. Additionally, it can help motivate employees and improve their performance. Given the current demand for organizations to adopt an image that is desirable to the public, the building a corporate image using corporate mission statement and official goal statements can be argued as giving the organizations a moral purpose that convinces the society that the organization has the quality of being genuine and operating for a genuine purpose (Daft 2009, p. 6).
Indeed, from this perspective, it is evident that mission statements and official goal statements provide organizations with genuine legitimacy. Although mission statements draw attention to varying and often conflicting aspects on the use of the concept, a body of theorists has found a consensus on the need to define the concept of mission statement (William 2008, p. 98). Towards this end, since mission statement is closely associated with the role of providing direction and focus to an organization, it can be strongly argued that is an influencing tool and as a source of inspiration.
Mission statement and goal statements are hence powerful communicative tools used by an organization for the purpose of manipulating social perceptions on its legitimacy (Duane & Hitt 2002, p. 34). Using the Theory of Communicative Action as proposed by Habermas (1985, p. 101), the process of manipulating the meanings can be clarified. In the same breath, the theory can help outline the genuine legitimacy of mission statements and official goal statements. According to the theory, an organization can deliberately utilize three ontological dimensions of legitimacy claims during the communicative interactions.
The three include; the truth claims, which postulates that communicative statements such as the mission statement informs of an organization’ s sensible reality or objective. Next is the legitimacy claim, which hypothesizes that the communicative statement is inherently aligned to values that are socially accepted. Forth, the sincerity claim presupposes that the communicative statement indicates the organization’ s intention in a manner that reflects its interior state (Vizeu & Matitz 2012). Hence in the context of communicating its goals, objectives and ulterior motives to the public, mission statement as a communicative tool can induce a genuine idea through the statement.
In some instances, organizations can relay a false image to the public. Forrester (1983, p. 238) argues that organizations can in this way generate communicative distortions by manipulating the public through omission of some information or by confusing the public through the use of ambiguous statements. From the above illustration, it can be argued that mission statements and official goal statements provide organizations with some degree of genuine legitimacy.
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