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The Conflicted Realities of Community College Mission Statements
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betaSCUP semantic analysis summary: A counterargument to the exuberant supporters of mission statements posits that the weak or tentative relationship to positive organizational performance is not a result of the mission statement as a strategic concept per se, but rather the result of poorly formulated or ineffectively implemented statements. Role refers to the function of the mission statement within the institution's planning framework, both actual and desired, and efficacy refers to how well the statement fulfills the desired function. By arranging the roles and functions of mission statements thematically, a figure can be constructed that contributes to an understanding of how a mission statement functions within one of Mintzberg's (2007) strategy continuums. If a college requires a mission statement with a strong marketing function, then a more descriptive adjunct statement could be devised to assist with mission fulfillment and goal clarification. Likewise, if a college requires a definition-type mission statement to strengthen prescriptive planning and assessment, then an adjunct statement that performs a marketing function can be developed (e.g., marketing slogan, market position statement).

This implies a need for the statement to fill the mission statement as marketing tool role, which typically relies on a short, memorable statement. Given that, and knowing that the mission statement's efficacy can be facilitated or hindered by the various functions and roles into which it is thrust, how can governing boards, presidents, and planners be more Compile a list of outcomes for the mission statement development process, including specific roles that will be required of the statement. The process described in the next section of this article merges Bryson's (2004) mission statement development framework with findings distilled from this study in order to craft specific steps aimed at addressing the various roles of the mission statement. This process advances the efficacy of the mission statement by specifically recognizing and addressing the multiple roles played by the statement at the beginning of the planning process and providing multiple integration points for the mission statement throughout the planning process. This process facilitates the integration of the mission statement's multiple roles in order to increase its efficacy, incorporates mission statement development at multiple points in the planning process for greater cohesion and continuity, and creates a framework for assessing the statement's efficacy (i.e., how well it accomplished its desired functions).
Published: The Integrated and Well-Planned Campus on


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