Coca Cola Mission Vision and Values Essay

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Executive Summary

Coca-Cola's mission, vision and values are analyzed, against the literature outlining what the best practices for these things are. Coca-Cola's mission statement has three parts, only one of which says something meaningful; the other two state the obvious. The vision statement contains no vision, does not meet the criteria of a high quality vision statement, and needs to be replaced in its entirety. The values statements are superficial; taken at face value they express nothing wrong, but they also add no real value because of their superficiality. Recommendations for improving or replacing these three statements are given at the end of the analysis.

Coca-Cola's Mission

When used properly, a mission statement can be a powerful strategic tool (Mullane, 2002). A poorly constructed mission statement might have limited strategic value, but a good one can clearly define why the organization exists, and what it hopes to accomplish by way of its everyday activities. The mission statement should ideally reflect what the company does, why it does it, and why that matters. Where mission statements often fall down is when they lack those features, instead trading in vagaries and consultant gobbledygook.

With a good mission statement, managers can tie activities to that mission in a way that is meaningful for employees. This drives at the key to a great mission statement – it must have meaning in the context of everyday activity, so that people can see how their activities tie back to the mission. If this condition is met, the employees are much more likely to buy into the mission. That is where the power derives from, leveraging the power of a shared mission, a commitment to something from an entire company, as this helps to keep activities and goals aligned despite the organization being large, dispersed and performing entirely different tasks.

If the mission statement does not provide employees throughout the organization with a sense of purpose, then the mission statement is not adding value to the organization (David & David, 2003). If the mission statement does provide this sense of purpose, then that purpose can be baked into the organizational culture. Thus, it is an important step to align the mission statement with the purpose of the organization, preferably one relatable to more than just shareholders (Swales & Rogers, 1995).

Coca-Cola's mission statement consists of three bullet points. There is a preamble that "declares our purpose as a company as the standard against which we weigh our actions and decisions" (Coca-Cola, 2018). The three bullet points are as follows:

· To refresh the world

· To inspire moments of optimism and happiness

· The create value and make a difference

There's a fair bit to unpack here. The first clause, to refresh the world, is basically a restatement of the fact that Coca-Cola is in the beverage industry.
This is accurate, but only useful in the sense that it frames the business. The company's main rival, PepsiCo, owns a number of snack food brands and once owned fast food franchises, so there is a certain statement of intent with respect to being a beverage company embedded here.

The second clause reflects the brand personality. The company's products aren't particularly good in any objective way, but the

marketing around them is universally upbeat and positive. Further, this clause can have internal value as well – optimism and happiness as part of the mission can be expressed internally, such that employees who are in different states of challenge and conflict can view this as an imperative and maybe keep things more upbeat than they normally might.

The third clause is actually two distinct clauses. Creating value is merely a restatement of the fact that Coca-Cola is a publicly traded company, and has a fiduciary duty to shareholders to enhance shareholder wealth. Of itself, the statement is obvious, and says nothing. It is paired with "make a difference". That is an example of what is wrong with mission statements. There is nothing actionable – making a difference is a pretty ill-defined concept. Furthermore, it is not something that is particularly actionable on a day-to-day basis. Rather, make a difference is a generic platitude. When paired with create value it is really just saying "make money, but oh yeah, try to be a decent human being , too, cause we're not just about money."

Of these elements, the second is really the one that matters most. Coca-Cola could in theory change its business away from beverages. The third element of the mission statement is a combination of the obvious and the banal. Really the focus on optimism and happiness is the only valuable element. This is not something normally seen in a mission statement, but it reflects directly not just on brand personality but on organizational culture. That can be quite meaningful to people, not just in their duties, but across the company as well. A mission statement, to have value, should pull the entire company together around some sort of rallying point, and "inspire moments of optimism and happiness" achieves that.

Coca-Cola's Vision

A vision statement is differentiated from a mission statement in that it is more inspirational in nature. If a mission statement is what we….....

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Coca-Cola (2018) Mission, vision and values. Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved January 8, 2017 from

David, F. & David, F. (2003) It's time to redraft your mission statement. Journal of Business Strategy. Vol. 24 (1) 11-14.

Mullane, J. (2002). The mission statement is an important strategic tool: When used properly. Management Decision. Vol. 40 (5) 448-455.

Quigley, J. (1994) Vision: How leaders develop it, share it, and sustain it. Business Horizons. Vol. 37 (5) 37-41.

Schiff, T. (2008) Motive imagery and the spread of ideas. MiPazradox. Retrieved January 8, 2017 from

Swales, J. & Rogers, P. (1995) Discourse and the projection of the corporate culture: The mission statement. Discourse & Society. Vol. 6(2) 223-242.

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