Dissemination of organizational values, mission and vision: An examination among contact personnel  

Musek Lešnik K., Arzenšek A.
First author's affiliation: Mednarodna fakulteta za družbene in poslovne študije, Celje, Slovenia

There is a common belief that clear organizational values, a clear sense of common mission, and a clear organizational vision are important elements of excellent corporate cultures. Moreover, even though reported research findings regarding these organizational issues differ, some strong evidence supports this belief. Organization can only communicate with the outside world those issues that are successfully communicated internally. Therefore the important question for many organizations is not whether they have written organizational values, mission, and vision, as mostly they have in some form. More important questions address the process in which these statements are born in organizations, the ability of their »authors« to guarantee their shared ownership across the organization, and the power of these statements to transcend from paper into hearts and minds among employees and other key stakeholders, and their contribution towards making work and other relations with organization meaningful. As several researchers found, the failure of many values, mission, and vision statements does not lie in weak innate power of these concepts, but in their poor understanding and implementation in organizations. In our research we investigated how able were contact persons in Slovene companies to represent their organization's values, mission, and vision. Our results show that less than 15% of people that are the first to pick up the phone in the company, failed at these simple tasks, suggesting that in many cases key organizational concepts are not »owned« among people who are employed to be the first contact of the outside world with the company. These results correspond to findings of other authors who warned that in many organizations values, mission and vision are vague concepts used for PR purpose and in lip-talk, failing to affect the wider corporate community. Such findings lead to conclusion that many organizations either do not understand the full power of these organizational concepts, or are poor in their implementation.