Organizational Purpose, Mission,
Of all the variables that make up the internal environment, organizational purpose, mission,
and philosophy should be examined first because it is here that one gains an understanding
of the mission and vision that is intended to provide the logic and the organizing
theme for all the other variables. Brody (1993) describes a mission statement as follows:
A good mission statement should be lofty and inspiring, concise, capable of being easily
understood and remembered, should reflect the organization’s fundamental purpose, and
should indicate what the organization wants to accomplish in relation to the beneficiaries of
its work. ...view middle of the document...
Organizations sometimes attempt to accomplish too much with a mission statement
and incorporate program description as well. When a mission statement includes the term
provide or some synonym, the statement goes beyond the definition of mission to program
The National Network for Social Work Managers (1994) presents what it calls the
organization platform, depicted in Figure 3.2.
The National Network for Social Work Managers (1994) defines each of the terms as
72 P A R T I I Managing the Organization
Products and Services
F I G U R E 3 . 2
Beliefs: Your credo, the philosophical underpinnings, values that motivate your organization to action.
Mission: Historic, philosophical statement of your general, global purpose. What you hope to do for whom.
Vision: A specific, usually emotional, view of a preferred future; the primary goals or accomplishments of the organization.
Culture: Description of values and attitudes that describe how the organization will pursue and execute its vision.
Goals: The broad objectives that drive product line and strategic planning. (Long- and short-term plans, strategies, and tactics are designed to achieve goals.)
Products: The products and services offered to reach the vision. (p. 2)
This organizational platform offers a great deal of promise in clarifying, in a concise manner, what a human service agency believes in, what it hopes to achieve, and what services it plans to provide in order to achieve its mission, vision, and goals.