Secondary school vision and mission statements : how do principals use this to enhance school objectives and outcomes?

Adams, Robert M. (2012-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


Vision and mission statements are believed to play an important role in organisations in their quest to provide clear and concise guidance to their ambitions and purpose. This is especially true for not-for profit organisations as they do not have a ‘bottom-line’ to drive performances and other strategic decisions. Although several studies have been conducted on the effect of effective vision and mission statements on organisations, there is no evidence of a study having been conducted on secondary schools in the Helderberg area, to the best of the researcher’s knowledge. The aim of this study was to explore the extent to which the vision and mission statements are communicated and used within the two secondary schools as part of their decision making processes, especially by the principals of these schools. In order to sufficiently address the implementation, communication and integration of the vision and mission statements in the secondary schools, the following research questions were formulated: • What is the level to which the school’s mission and vision statements are used by its principals to guide decision-making processes and the setting of goals and ambitions? • How well are the school’s mission and vision statements communicated to – and understood by its stakeholders? • How to properly create and integrate the school’s vision and mission statements in order to ensure improved and sustainable academic performances This study explores the levels of communication of the vision and mission statements most notably by the principals to the rest of the school’s stakeholders and the integration of these statements into the daily decision making processes. Furthermore, the study investigates the review process of these statements and whether the principals embody the values and visions of their respective schools. From the analysis of the findings, it was clear that these statements are still largely unknown within the two schools, as only 54% of the correspondents have ever seen these statements. The views were varied about whether principals have communicated the vision and mission statements to the stakeholders of the schools. According to Sherman (2001: 24) the ability to clearly and concisely communicate the vision and mission of the organisation is a critical characteristic of leadership. The study also concluded that the statements appeared to not have been fully understood, embodied and communicated by both the principals interviewed. The lack of a clear strategy and the focus on solving crisis issues at the schools were evident during the interviews with both principals. This research findings were analysed, concluded and recommendations made on the factors that could assist the establishment, communication and integration of the vision and mission statements within secondary schools within the Helderberg area.

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