Strategy, Governance and Ethics Revision Block 1


Question 1

“Some management experts feel that control (that is, setting standards, measuring performance against them and taking corrective action when needed) hinders creativity. Others take the opposite view”. With the help of examples give arguments in support of each view

Question 2

a) Clearly distinguish between corporate mission, vision and core values.

b) What are the key qualities of a good corporate vision?


Question 1

The case for control

Controls is essential as the best of plans may go awry. It also helps mangers monitor environmental changes and their effects on the organization’s progress. Control creates better quality by spotting process flaws and correcting them. Employees are empowered to inspect and improve their own work. TQM changes many attitudes about, and approaches to achieving effective control. Control helps cope with change. Change is an inevitable part of an organization’s environment. Markets shift. Competitors offer new products and services that capture the public imagination. The control function aids mangers in responding to the resulting threats or opportunities, by helping them detect changes that are affecting their organization’s products and services. Control creates faster cycles in creating and delivering products to customers. Control adds value to a company’s offering (products) against those of its competitors in the form of above-average quality. Control facilitates delegation and teamwork by letting the manger monitor employees’ progress without hampering employees’ creativity or involvement with the work.

The case against control

Trying to control too many elements of operations can annoy and demoralize employees, frustrate their managers and waste valuable time, energy and money. Managers may focus on easy-to-measure factors such as the number of people served in a restaurant, and ignore harder-to-measure factors such as dinner satisfaction. Yet dinner satisfaction could be more important in the long-run than the number of people served in a given period. Most of the problems can however be avoided by an analysis that identifies key performance areas and strategic control points

Question 2


Corporate Mission: A mission statement is an organization’s vision translated into written form. It makes concrete the leader’s view of the direction and purpose of the organization. For many corporate leaders it is a vital element in any attempt to motivate employees and to give them a sense of priorities. A mission statement should be a short and concise statement of objectives and priorities. In turn, objectives are specific objectives that relate to specific time periods and are stated in terms of facts. The primary goal of any business is to increase stakeholder value. The most important stakeholders are shareholders who own the business, employees who work for the business and clients or customers who purchase products and/or services from the business. A mission statement underpins the vision. It is necessarily more limited than a vision statement, and defines the organization’s market positioning. It is a brief and focused statement of purpose that communicates the essence of the organization to its stakeholders and to the public. It relates to how the organization is going to d business in order to fulfill its vision. Questions Addressed by Mission Statements

  • What is the purpose of organization?
  • What is unique about the organization?
  • What are its principal products and markets?
  • What are its values?
  • Where is it hoping to be in five or ten years’ time? Corporate Vision

Vision is a short, succinct, and inspiring statement of what the organization intends to become and to achieve at some point in the future, often stated in competitive terms. Vision refers to the category of intentions that are broad, all-intrusive and forward-thinking. It is the image that a business must have of its objectives before it sets out to reach them. It describes aspirations for the future, without specifying the means that will be used to achieve those desired ends. A vision statement has been described as “a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future…a target that beckons.” Good vision statements are inspirational, clearly understood and brief enough to remember. There are a variety of approaches to developing a vision statement, including: Reviewing the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats;  Holding brainstorming sessions; Drawing graphic visions of the future; Conducting imaginary future trips through the agency or community; Pretending you are a planning committee from the future that is writing a report on accomplishments in the intervening years; and Exploring visions developed for other agencies or communities. “To choose a direction, an executive must have developed a mental image of the possible and desirable future state of the organization. This image, is called a vision, and may be as vague as a dream or as precise as a goal or a mission statement.” (Warren Bennis, a noted writer on leadership) At General Electric(GE) the vision is ‘We bring good things to life’. The Ford Motor Company vision is ‘to become the world’s leading consumer company for automotive products and services’. vision statement presents an image of what an organization aspires to become. It explains the organization’s significance and how it will improve whatever marketplace in which it participates. Stated clearly the vision is where the organization wants to go, its destination. NB: In short, if the vision statement is where the organization wants to go i.e. its destination, the mission statement articulates how it will reach the destination i.e. its transportation Core Values

These are the few key principles that the organization seeks to uphold as it carries on its business. These guide the organization’s vision. They are considered as being fundamental to the success of the entity’s operations and stimulate relations with outsiders. For instance, the United Nations Core Values are Integrity, Professionalism, and Respect for Diversity.

b) The key qualities of a good corporate vision:

The corporate success depends on the vision articulated by the chief executive or the top management. For a corporate vision to have any impact on the employees of an organization:

i)It should be conveyed in a dramatic and enduring way.

ii)It should inspire, usually asking employees for the best, the most or the greatest.

iii)It should keep organizational stretch in itself

iv)It should be communicated constantly, and

v)It should keep linking the events of today to its stipulations, underscoring the relationship between the two.A good corporate vision may also contain commitment to:

  • Developing a great new product or service
  • Serving customers through the defined service portfolio
  • Ensuring quality and responsiveness of customer services
  • Providing an enjoyable work environment for employees
  • Ensuring financial strength and sustainable growth of the company for the benefit of its stakeholder


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