Does vision and mission emerge from the particular culture of a firm or is it dictated by strategy?
The culture of a firm and the formation of strategy are two very
important aspects of an organisation. The world contains many different people all with different values, ideas and beliefs. These differences create a diverse range of cultures within organisations, some having bigger influences than others. Strategies within organisations are highly dynamic and complex, and can have positive and negative effects on an organisation. Vision and mission are concepts that many believe are vital for an organisation to operate effectively and to the best of its abilities. Andrew Campbell (1991) , a prominent writer on vision and mission, believes that both the culture and the strategy of a firm come together side by side to build an overall definition of mission for a firm. The paper will be based around Campbell’s perception and whether either culture or strategy has a greater part to play in an organisation’s mission.
Culture and strategy will be examined in a context relevant to the title question. Hofstede (1993) defines culture as ‘the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes one group or category of people from another’. Hofstedes research of different organisations and countries allowed him to make predictions on the way different societies operate, including their management processes and the theories that would be used in management. Morgan (1996) refers to culture as ‘the pattern of development reflected in a society’s system of knowledge, ideology, values, laws, and day-to-day ritual’. In subsequent writings he expands on organisational culture as ‘self-organising and is always evolving’ and also ‘ we are observing an evolved form of social practice that has been influenced by many complex interactions between people, events, situations, actions, and general circumstances’. These broad definitions of organisational culture are important bases and will be used throughout.
Defining strategy is a difficult process because it is a complex concept that has many forms and is constantly changing. Andrews (1987) attempt is a comprehensive definition that incorporates many different aspects of strategy. His definition of strategy includes ‘the pattern of decisions…that determines and reveals its objectives, purposes, or goals, and defines the range of business the company is to pursue, the kind of economic and human organisation it tends to be, and the nature of the economic and non-economic contribution it intends to make to its shareholders, employees, customers, and communities.’ It must be recognised that strategy can be identified at three different ascending levels: business, corporate, and network...