Mission Statement Perception: Are We All on the Same Wavelength? A Case Study in a Flemish Hospital.
Background Although it is widely recognized that the effectiveness of mission statements is contingent upon the extent to which they are communicated to the organization’s members, there is virtually no literature about how individual organizational members perceive the mission statement. Previous empirical mission statement research has tended to focus primarily on (a) analyzing mission statement content and (b) the CEO’s perception of the mission statement. Purposes In order to address these shortcomings and to help health care managers to better understand and manage their mission statement, a research project was set up that sought (a) to assess how managers and non-managers perceive the mission statement, and (b) to determine if there is a perception gap between both groups. Methodology/Approach In total 102 nurses, nurse managers and senior managers of a 217-bed Belgian regional general hospital filled in a questionnaire, based on the Competing Values Framework for Managerial Communication, in order to assess their perception of the organizational mission statement. Findings There is a mission statement perception gap between managers and non-managers. The scores of the management group are in almost all cases significantly higher. These findings suggests that managers have a more outspoken and positive attitude towards the mission statement than non-management members. Practice Implications In order to optimize the impact of the mission statement, managers should measure the perception of the mission statement and try to remediate possible mission statement 3 perception gaps. The Competing Values Framework for Managerial Communication is offered as a tool to assess (a) the presence, (b) the direction, and (c) the intensity of possible mission statement perception gaps.
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