Without a concrete statement of organizational

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without a destination. Without a concrete statement of organizational mission, the values and beliefs of a small business must be interpreted from the actions and decisions of individual managers” (2004, p. 3). The writers add that businesses fail for many reasons, and cite several surveys that point company failures in the early year either to the lack of a mission statement or the lack of a clear, concise, and focused mission statement. According to a Dun & Bradstreet survey, 40% of small business failures occur between the first and fifth years of inception, 27% fail between the sixth and tenth year, and 33% fail by the time the businesses cross their tenth year. Although there are myriad potential causes for this failure, our hypothesis is that the lack of a well-written mission statement is one of the foremost contributors to this malady. A survey of 220 small businesses in the greater Washington, D.C. area with annual revenue was less than $2 million and each have fewer than 500 employees found 64% of small business did not have a written mission statement and operate on informal ethical and philosophical guidelines. Another 7% of companies had mission statements but it was only revealed to a few top executives. Only 29% of companies had a mission statement that was accessible to all employees. The effectiveness of a mission statement is both and internal and external force in the success of a business. If an employee does not know the mission statement, does not understand the mission statement, or does not know how their job fits in the overall success of the company,
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they may lack motivation to excel, perform, and produce the product or services. Internally, it is the company’s top management’s duties to provide a clear mission statement and communicate that mission to employees. Christine Andrews writes in HotelNetwork.com: “One of the most effective things top management can do is to demonstrate to the properties that mission statements and the accompanying core values are essential every day on the job, for everyone from the dishwasher to the president of the company” (2010, p. 13). Customer Demands While the mission statement defines the overall goal of the company’s mission, a critical factor in that mission statement must be how a company views its customers, plans to service it customers, and meet its customer demands. Specifically, meeting customer demands in today’s business environment must be based on teamwork and vision of the overall company. Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn (2008) write: “Organizations today are less vertical and more horizontal in focus; driven by complex environments and customer demands, work is increasingly team based with a focus on peer contributions.” In our team’s organizations while our services and products may be diverse, one constant theme is clear—customers want value, perfection, and more personal attention. In return, companies are downsizing to deal with the economic downturn while trying to attract new customers and keep a grip on existing customers. In the small garden décor company, its
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  • Spring '12
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  • Organizational studies

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