How Forbes 200 Companies Create and use Mission Statements


  • H. Lon Addams Weber State University
  • William H. Baker Brigham Young University
  • Brian Davis Weber State University


Small publicly-held firms included on the Forbes 200 list were surveyed to determine their usage of mission statements. Survey results reveal that most of these firms have developed mission statements, which usually include main company purposes, key business objectives, company identity, and other guiding principles. Most of the mission statements result from a group effort, although less than half of the firms formally seek employee input in the development process. CEOs are generally pleased with the results yielded by their mission statements, giving highest marks for providing direction to managers and helping employees focus. The lowest mark is given to improving employee morale, suggesting that more work is needed to help mission statements foster a sense of mission. Effective mission statements include/our major steps: (a) development, (b) distribution, (c) integration, and (d) evaluation. This article provides guidelines for each of these steps.


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How to Cite

Addams, H. L., Baker, W. H., & Davis, B. (1996). How Forbes 200 Companies Create and use Mission Statements. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 7(2), 59–76. Retrieved from