Continuous improvement of operational performance and sustainable growth are the major objectives for every company, regardless of the sector of operation. Since an emphasis is made on growth and development, a company’s function or industry does not have a robust influence on making decisions related to the company’s future, as they are based on a similar approach to doing business.
This means that both manufacturers and providers of services will focus their attention on developing unique strategies for long-term development. That said, strategic management is the foundation of operational success, without regard to a company’s specialization and industry focus. However, it is paramount to find accurate answers to the following questions: What affects the choice of an appropriate strategy, and how does this choice reflect a company’s strategic objectives?
To begin with, upon launching a business, the founders should be able to define their primary objective. Putting it simply, the basis of running a company is this: “How do we see the future of our company and how is it going to change the world?” The answers to these questions are usually laid out in the mission and vision statements of a firm. A mission statement is the declaration of specific purposes for starting a business, differentiating a particular company from others operating in the same sector of the economy.
It centers on identifying a fundamental reason for the existence, and satisfaction of one or more of the most significant needs of society. The vision statement is necessary for shaping a company’s culture, philosophy, and aspirations. In other words, the vision statement is the declaration of the company’s plan to change the world, i.e., identifying how a company’s operation will make things better (Subba, 2009).
Vision and mission statements are necessary for employees, senior management, stakeholders, and ordinary people interested in an organization’s activities. They are valuable for identifying and understanding organizational goals because they focus on the result of a firm’s functioning in the market (Harrington & Ottenbacher, 2011). That said, vision and mission are the bases of strategic management, and their formulation is the foundation for choosing an appropriate strategy intended to lead a company to achieve its goals and becoming successful. Moreover, they are necessary for shaping the corporate values needed for motivating employees to achieve stated strategic objectives.
There are numerous examples of companies and organizations that are efficient in fulfilling their mission and vision statements. In most cases, they are industry leaders and powerful market actors. However, it is imperative to note that being an economic leader is not necessarily connected to success in bringing the company’s stated mission and vision to life. One of many appropriate examples of successful companies is Comcast, the leader in the American cable industry. Its mission is “to shape the future of media and technology” (Comcast: Company overview, 2016, para. 1). The company’s vision centers on embracing the future, thus turning the company into “the most sophisticated network in the world’ (Comcast: Culture, 2016, para. 7).
In line with Comcast’s aims to become a leader and develop into a more sophisticated corporation, the company announced a decision to launch cellphone services in 2017. The idea is to locate Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, so that people give preference to Comcast instead of AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon (Fund, 2016). This step can easily be explained by the fact that, as the Internet becomes more powerful, cable television is at risk of being relegated to history. This means that each company operating in this sector is seeking ways to provide new services and win more customers.
Another appropriate example is the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), another cable industry leader. Its decision is similar to that of Comcast. However, it will not limit its operations to providing cellphone services. Instead, NCTA has announced that it plans to become the Internet & Television Association and provide both cable and Internet services (Eggerton, 2016).
This decision is motivated, as well, by significant changes in society and the transition toward more intensive use of the newest technologies. Viewing this decision from the perspective of mission and vision statements, it can be said that it falls within the company’s strategy, as its mission is to drive industry development to satisfy customer needs, and its vision is to “exceed consumer expectations for a wide range of high-quality services” (NCTA, 2016, para. 2) by providing different services.
To sum up, both NCTA and Comcast are efficient in fulfilling their mission and vision statements. Both companies focus on driving the industry and investing in the future, while realizing that cable television is not as popular as it used to be, before the expansion of the Internet. Thus, to win more consumers and preserve their leading positions in the marketplace, they should widen the scope of what they provide to customers by adding Internet-based services.
This means that the companies’ vision and mission statements correspond with the chosen strategic management course, as they are clearly defined and include long-term objectives. Moreover, the companies’ decisions are made in the light of their long-term strategic objectives and focus on consumer needs, which proves that both NCTA and Comcast are interested in shaping the future by choosing the newest technologies (Subba, 2009).
Comcast: Company overview. (2016). Web.
Comcast: Culture. (2016). Web.
Eggerton, J. (2016). The cable lobby tries to make you forget that it represents cable companies. Multichannel News. Web.
Fund, B. (2016). Comcast will launch a cellphone service next year, executives say. The Washington Post. Web.
Harrington, R. J., & Ottenbacher, M. C. (2011). Strategic management. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 23(4), 439-462.
NCTA. (2016). We are NCTA. Web.
Subba, P. R. (2009). Strategic management [Including skill development]. Mumbai, India: Himalaya Publishing House.