The organization's mission statement: give up hope or resuscitate? A search for evidence-based recommendations

Adv Health Care Manag. 2011:10:25-41. doi: 10.1108/s1474-8231(2011)0000010008.


The increasing complexity and dynamicity of their environment compels health-care managers to search relentlessly for effective management instruments. One strategic tool that both academics and practitioners have deemed critical to the success of any health-care organization is the development of a meaningful mission statement. However, despite the seemingly omnipresence of the concept, studies indicate that creating an effective mission statement seems to be extremely difficult, if not downright frustrating for a lot of health-care managers. This inability to create an effective mission statement roots for the greater part in the fact that the previous literature has provided little practical guidance on how health-care administrators should formulate and deploy mission statements. Given the increasing pressure on health-care organizations to develop an effective mission statement, this chapter (1) provides a detailed analysis of the mission statement concept based on a thorough literature analysis and (b) offers empirically based recommendations on how to successfully formulate and implement a mission statement within a health-care organization based on a systematic analysis of relevant empirical research. These analyses and the derived evidence-based recommendations will help health-care managers to revive their mission statement and make it more than a piece of paper.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Organizational Objectives*