Strategic Vision and Mission Statements: Exploring Qualitative Perspectives in Health and Human Services

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Strategic vision and mission statements are key elements of most public agency strategic plans. Yet literature suggests that too often, these statements are out of focus, without coherence, meaningless, forgettable, and ineffective. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore how county human service managers perceive and experience strategic vision statements and strategic mission statements in the context of strategic management and leadership theories. A qualitative phenomenology study of 10 participant administrators was conducted in two departments with varied approaches to the development and design of their strategic vision and mission statements. The study found and concluded that the way vision and mission statements communicate does matter. The first finding suggests that the manner in which vision and mission statements are developed and constructed can impact organizational awareness and commitment. The second finding suggests that effective vision and mission statements motivate and inspire by appealing to personal passion and a sense of inclusive relevance to all. The third finding suggests that vision and mission statements are enhanced by leaders who model shared beliefs and create an alignment of the statements with strategic decision and actions. The study recommends that clear and concise vision and mission statements be collaboratively developed. It also recommends that the statements should appeal to personal passion and be relevant to all. Finally, leaders should model shared beliefs of vision and mission statements that are in alignment with all strategic organizational decision and actions.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Public Administration
Public Administration, Leadership