& marketing
Challenges for the Knowledge Society
ISSN 2069–8887
ISSN-L 1842-0206
The official journal of the
Society for Business Excellence
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Management & Marketing no. 4/2014

Strategic priorities of Iranian companies: an application of mission statement content analysis
Abstract. The mission statement describes the strategic priorities of a company. It determines the roadmap for strategic decision in the corporation. Research on mission statement elements is an interesting field because it clarifies the strategic priorities of the company. This paper aims to analyze these priorities among 48 large Iranian companies active in four selected industries based on David’s (1989) nine-element model. These components include customer, market, general image, product, technology, survival, growth and profitability, philosophy, self-understanding, and employees. The first three components are categorized as external and the remaining ones are grouped as internal components. The sample is drawn from pharmaceuticals, oil and petrochemicals, bank and insurance, and industrial manufacturing sectors. Data was gathered using a checklist based on the aforementioned model to study the mission statements of the selected companies. These mission statements were found on the companies’ websites. Exploratory content analysis of mission statements was applied manually. Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis tests showed that the use of mission statement elements in the companies from each industry group was similar. Elements of market and product are used by majority of the companies. In the service industries with high competition, both internal and external elements are seriously taken into consideration. External elements of customer and public image are not considered by all the studied industries. On the other hand, in all the studied industries, the most important elements were respectively product, survival and growth. However, philosophy and self-concept, which somehow reflect organization identity, are not strongly taken into consideration. Emphasis on the internal element of employee is less in other three industries.
Keyword: mission statement, content analysis, internal elements, external elements, Iran.
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