11 SES 03, From Academia to Real Life
Mission statements as an organization’s reasons for existence
To be effective, organizations (like people) need a sense of purpose and direction. Mission is an organization’s “life blood”. The mission statement is an integral part of the organization as an entity and the operating plan, which has become a unique vehicle through which the organization manifests it strategic intent to exist, survive, develop and how it relates with stakeholders around it (Ekpe, Eneh, Inyang, 2015). Mission statement can and do vary in length, content, format, and specificity, however it should be informative, inspiring, enduring, concise, clear, and conductive to both employees and customers forming an emotional bond within the organization (David, David & David, 2014). Morphew and Hartley (2006) note that the process of articulating an institution’s mission has two potential benefits: 1) a clear mission helps organizational members distinguish between activities that conform to institutional imperatives and those that do not; 2) a shared sense of purpose has the capacity to inspire and motivate those within an institution and to communicate its characteristics, values, and history to key external constituents.
In the West, the interest of mission statement has strongly increased in the past two decades. It has been studied in various areas (e.g. Williams, 2008; Stemler, Bebell, & Sonnabend, 2011; Holosko et al., 2015). However in Poland a very few studies addressed the issue of mission in business organizations (e.g. Moszoro, 2012; Wiktor, Chlipała 2012; Czubała 2013), and there is a significant lack of such studies on school mission statements.
School mission and school effectiveness
Mission statements have been examined as a key indicator of organizational performance, and the research results show that there is a positive relation between mission statements and measures of organizational performance (Desmidt, Prinzie & Decramer, 2011). Understanding the organization’s mission is the first step towards school improvement, but “the hard work begins after the exciting, creative, and inspirational mission is proclaimed” (Fisher, Frey & Pumpian, 2012, p. 155). Undoubtedly, school mission statement cannot be treated as a mere “slogans”. It must reflect the school’s core values that guide individual behavior and institutional practices (Arth et al., 1987).
Educational researchers (e.g. Teddlie & Reynolds, 2000; Rutter & Maughan, 2002) point out, that commitment to a shared mission statement is one of the leading factors differentiating more effective schools from the less effective ones. Researchers also suggest that the school mission can serve to represent the core philosophy and working ethos of a school (Stemler, Bebell & Sonnabend, 2011).
Research aim and questions
The purpose of the study was to explore school culture in radically different schools due to student academic achievement. More specifically, the study was aimed to find out how school community members (principal, teachers, students, staff, parents) perceive their school places, and what is the mission of investigated schools.
Although the subject of presentation concerns teacher perception of mission statements, it is necessary to identify the types of themes that are expressed in schools’ mission. The declared statements of school mission are considered to be valuable framework for “subjective” data from voluntary interviews.
I will focus on teachers’ perception of mission statement and the conditions of its implementation within investigated junior high schools, answering the questions: 1) what is the basic purpose of the school?; 2) how teachers perceive school’s core values and basic assumptions about student learning and development?; 3) who is responsible for “translating” mission statements into practice?; 4) how they perceive the role of principal, teachers and parents in developing and implementing mission statements? The author will compare the schools taking into account these issues.
Arth A.A., Johnston J.H., Lounsbury J.H., Toepfer C.F., Melton G.E. (1987). Developing a mission statement for the middle level school. Reston: NASSP. Brenner M.E. (2006). Interviewing in Educational Research. In: J.L. Green, G. Camilli, P.B. Elmore (eds.). Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Czubała A. (2013). Misje polskich eksporterów. Marketing i Rynek, 2, 7-11. David M.E., David F.R., David F.R. (2014). Mission statement theory and practice: A content analysis and new direction. International Journal of Business, Marketing, and Decision Sciences, vol. 7, no. 1, 95-110. Desmidt S., Prinzie A., Decramer A. (2011). Looking for the value of mission statements: A meta-analysis of 20 years of research. Management Decision, 49, 468-483. Ekpe E.O., Eneh S.I., Inyang B.J. (2015). Leveraging organizational performance through effective mission statement. International Business Research, 8(9), 135-141. Fisher D., Frey N., Pumpian I. (2012). How to create a culture of achievement in your school and classroom. Alexandria: ASCD. Holosko M.J., Winkel M., Crandall K., Briggs H. (2015). A content analysis of mission statements of our top 50 schools of social work. Journal of Social Work Education, 51, 222-236. Morphew Ch.C., Hartley M. (2006). Mission Statements: A Thematic Analysis of Rhetoric Across Institutional Type. The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 77, no. 3, 456-471. Moszoro B. (2012). Znaczenie misji przedsiębiorstwa i jej wpływ na kompetencje przywódcze. Management and Business Administration. Central Europe, vol. 20, no.2, 53-62. Rutter M., Maughan B. (2002). School effectiveness findings 1979-2002. journal of School Psychology, 40, 451-475. Stemler S.E., Bebell D., Sonnabend L.A. (2011). Using school mission statements for reflection and research. Educational Administration Quarterly, 47(2), 383-420. Teddlie C., Reynolds D. (2000). The international handbook of school effectiveness research. New York: Falmer. Wiktor J.W., Chlipała P. (2012). Strategie marketingowe polskich przedsiębiorstw na rynkach międzynarodowych. Warszawa: PWE. Williams L.S. (2008). The mission statement: A corporate reporting tool with a past, present and future. International Journal of Business Communication, 45(2),94-119.
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.