Title: Mission statements in medium-sized listed firms: a content analysis

Authors: Lara Penco; Giorgia Profumo; Roberta Scarsi

Addresses: Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of Genoa, Via Francesco Vivaldi 5, 16126 Genoa, Italy ' Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of Genoa, Via Francesco Vivaldi 5, 16126 Genoa, Italy ' Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of Genoa, Via Francesco Vivaldi 5, 16126 Genoa, Italy

Abstract: Despite the considerable attention awarded to mission statements, most of the studies are focused on large firms, while the role of mission statements in the strategic management of small and medium-sized companies has not been sufficiently highlighted. The present paper tries to bridge this literature gap aiming at: 1) analysing specific content characteristics of medium-sized listed firms' mission statements; 2) identifying differences among medium-sized firms belonging to different cultural clusters; 3) investigating the stakeholder orientation and the prioritisation versus particular stakeholders' groups. Applying a content analysis method to a sample of 150 continental European medium-sized listed firms, we document that a 'typical' mission statement does not exist. Moreover, differences in the content and role of the mission statements of firms belonging to diverse cultural clusters are present and firms tend to mention few stakeholders groups in their mission statements, with subgroups prioritising different stakeholders.

Keywords: mission statement; content analysis; medium-sized firms; culture; stakeholder orientation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2020.10031239

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2020 Vol.11 No.2, pp.136 - 162

Received: 02 Aug 2018
Accepted: 19 Feb 2019

Published online: 12 Aug 2020 *

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