Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 207–216

Do Firms Practice What They Preach? The Relationship Between Mission Statements and Stakeholder Management


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-007-9612-0

Cite this article as:
Bartkus, B.R. & Glassman, M. J Bus Ethics (2008) 83: 207. doi:10.1007/s10551-007-9612-0


The accuracy of corporate mission statements has not been well explored. In this study, the authors investigate the relationship between mission statement content and stakeholder management actions. Findings indicate that although social issues such as the environment and diversity are less frequently included, their mention in mission statements is significantly associated with behaviors regarding these issues. The study found no relationship between firms with mission statements that mention specific stakeholder groups (employees, customers, and community) and behaviors regarding these stakeholders. This suggests that the inclusion of specific stakeholder groups in missions is likely the result of institutional pressures, while specifying social issues in missions is related to policy decisions.


diversityenvironmentmission statementsocial issuesstakeholder management

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkU.S.A.