Wikipedia talk:Avoid mission statements

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Seems like this could cover slogans, too. Ran across an article where, over the years, slogans had been recorded, as they changed, one by one, from one ineffectual one, to another! Student7 (talk) 14:01, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

The concept is the same, why dont your update the essay with this?--RadioFan (talk) 18:16, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
 Done. Thanks. I've created a shortcut, as well. Student7 (talk) 15:14, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Discussion about this essay and infoboxes[edit]

I've opened up a discussion that references this essay here. I would welcome any thoughts you may have. Faceless Enemy (talk) 02:33, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

Essay vs Policy[edit]

This is an essay; it is not policy. It is just one person's opinion about the value of mission/vision statements.

This essay relies on very many highly debatable assertions and unsubstantiated allegations, lacking in any supporting argument or evidence.

For example: The essay says:

  • These [mission statements] rarely provide any insight into the company, what it does, or the impact it has. This is highly debatable. Mission statements are statement of the company's aspirations for the forthcoming planning period, typically 3- 5 years. They therefore, provide some clues as to how the company intends to allocate resources, what activities it intends to focus on and where managerial effort will be directed. In other words, the mission guides corporate action and investment and to outsiders it provides insights into the company's core reason for being in business. In terms of corporate planning, mission statements are key indicators of corporate performance. [1]
  • They focus on platitudes rather than the kind of specifics Wikipedia aspires to. WP aspires to deal in factual statements. It is perfectly factual to say, "A company's stated mission is blah, blah, blah" and attribute the statement to an internal document such as a strategic plan or company annual report. Whether we like it or not, missions and visions are a standard feature of modern business documentation. To omit mention of the mission, would be to do a disservice to the company that you are writing about.
  • They rarely tell us anything useful and do not help establish the notability of the company or organization. This is taking things too far. It is not the job of a mission statement to establish notability according to Wikipedia guidelines. Rather it is the job of the entire article, combined with the quality of references collectively that establishes notability. Mission statements need to be evaluated on their merits - some can be very useful, others not so helpful. But to suggest that a mission statement should satisy WP's notability is ludicrous.
  • Even though mission statements are verifiable, they are written by the company itself, which makes them a primary source This statement appears to be built on an assumption that primary sources are evil. I have yet to find a WP policy that suggests primary sources are evil or undesirable. Primary sources, when used along with other sources, can add texture and colour to an article. We should not overlook mission statements just because they are written by the company that they describe. Who better knows what the company's goals and aspirations are? This is in fact a classic example of where a primary sources should be preferable to a secondary source.
  • They contain boastful words and puffed-up, flowery language Theoretically, they should not do this. Only very poor quality mission statements would include this type of language. Wikipedia's article on mission statementsstates that a well-written mission statement should include: the key market served; the product or service provided to the market and the benefits or attributes that make a company's product unique. This is factual information and for any business analyst or student of commerce, it would constitute very valuable information.
  • They focus on the speculation about the future of the company: becoming the industry leader, or the top producer, or the most reliable manufacturer. This is yet another unsubstantiated assertion. I would really like to know where these words came from. Did you do a content analysis of mission statements? If so, where is the explanation of your methodology? It is true that mission statements are statements of hope. However, in theory, they should be statements of aspirations that are realistic and achievable within the planning period. Empirical research on the content of mission statements is a legitimate research topic in policy, planning, human resource management, commerce and marketing. The literature fails to provide any support for this assertion. See James Rajasekar, "A Comparative Analysis of Mission Statement Content and Readability," Journal of Management Policy and Practice, vol. 14(6) 2013 for an excellent review of what types of terms and phrases actually appear in mission statements.

Certainly there are some very badly constructed mission statements that are full of motherhood statements and these are less desirable. But should we ban all mission statements just because some companies don't know how to write them? Mission statements are not promotional - they are intended to be read by an internal audience and are not designed for external audiences. History is full of examples of mission statements that inspire action and galvanise nations. For example, in the 1960s President Kennedy said that before the decade was out, the US would put a man on the moon and bring him home safely. That aspiration became the core mission for NASA, who at the time, did not have the technology to accomplish that. But the core mission inspired teams of engineers, computer technicians and others to invent the necessary technologies. And, as we now know, the mission was accomplished in 1969.

I am sorry to say that the arguments presented in this essay would not satisfy Wikipedia's reliability guidelines. BronHiggs (talk) 04:37, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

This essay relies on very many highly debatable assertions and unsubstantiated allegations, lacking in any supporting argument or evidence. Quite the opposite. I believe this essay has remained as it is because it is well-written, provides helpful guidance, and is soundly based upon existing policies and guidelines. --Ronz (talk) 15:59, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
This essay is based entirely on opinion just as your comments are also concerned with presenting opinions rather than arguments or evidence.
Do you intend to continue following me around WP deleting my contributions, questioning everything I do and harrassing me? You have been doing this for almost some months now. Do you intend to continue indefinitely? I am sure that you know that this type of hounding is a form of bullying according to another WP policy. See WP:HOUND BronHiggs (talk) 05:22, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
Please WP:FOC. Please collaborate with others and assume good faith.
presenting opinions rather than arguments or evidence. As I said, it all appears to be based upon policies and guidelines. Perhaps you should pick a specific section, one that in you eyes is some of the very worst of this essay. --Ronz (talk) 15:44, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
I have already done that (see above). By any objective measure, this essay contains unsubstantiated assertions. In this essay, there is not a single reference in sight. The descriptions of a mission statement is not even consistent with WP's article on mission statements. The academic literature presents numerous content analyses of mission statements - it is a shame that the author of this essay did not consult some of this. The fact that financial analysts, journalists and academics study mission statements and regularly report on them, suggests that they hold a great deal more information than this article suggests. This article is pure opinion - and while there is nothing wrong with expressing an opinion - others are entitled to hold different opinions. It is difficult to assume good faith when another editor is persistently harrassing and hounding you and appears to be motivated by the need to be vindictive. See WP:HOUND BronHiggs (talk) 21:19, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
Sorry you feel you are being harassed, but please realize that your complaints are inappropriate here and disruptive. If you have a problem that needs addressing, find a proper venue. (See WP:DR).
I have already done that I've asked for specifics. If you believe you already have, some indication of exactly what you wrote would be helpful, such as a quote.
there is not a single reference in sight As expected. Policies, guidelines, essays, etc typically have few or none.
We build policies, guidelines, essays upon consensus on how to address common issues related to Wikipedia. This has nothing to do with "the academic literature" nor "financial analysts...". Instead, this essay addresses the common problems that editors encounter in disputes over mission statements in Wikipedia articles. --Ronz (talk) 14:56, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
    • ^ "Mission Statement Theory and Practice: A Content Analysis, David, ME and Baylor, RD, International Journal of Business,Marketing, and Decision Sciences, Volume 7, Number 1, Summer 2014