Mission statements are vital management tools that are linked to the corporate strategy and that enable firms to survive competition and achieve high levels of performance. The process of strategic planning begins with the development of vision and mission statements to show the company's desire for the future and plan for service or product delivery. The mission statement is the organization's way of declaring the reason for its existence (Orhan, Erdogan, & Durmaz, 2014). The statement thus answers critical questions on the reason for existence and the accomplishments a company intends to make. A good mission statement describes the company in a few words. It provides information regarding the purpose of the company, the basic technology in use, the company's philosophy, market, and the products and services (Kemp, & Dwyer, 2003). In short, a mission statement provides a summary of what the firm does while a mission showcases the plan the organization has to achieve its vision. Research shows that a good mission statement increases a firm's success in financial measures by 30 percent compared to firms which lack good mission statements. This paper examines Twitter's mission using the Ashridge Mission Model.
Andrew Campbell developed the Ashridge Mission Model to assist employees and managers to develop and evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of the mission statement (Campbell, & Yeung, 1991). The mission statement is a statement that is broad but that sets the organization apart. The mission statement describes the scope of the product and identifies the unique selling point of an organization. The Ashridge model describes the effectiveness of the mission statement using four components namely strategy, purpose, policies and behaviors, and company values also known as employee values. The purpose stated in the mission statement seeks to address why the company exists. This information is important to stakeholders and other individuals that have an interest in the company. The strategy represents the commercial logic of the organization and thus presents the competitive position or competence level of the company. Employee values examine the alignment of employee and organizational goals, while values and norms express the meaning of certain behaviors and beliefs and also lay bare what the company believes in and practices (Campbell, & Yeung, 1991). Company values seek to establish whether the mission statement represents the values of the employees of the company. The policies and behaviors analyze the existence of the standards and behaviors that underlie organizational values. An organization develops a string mission by applying the four components described above.
These four components are essential in determining whether the business model of an organization has a weak or strong strategic direction. For an organization's mission to be considered strong, all the components of the Ashridge Mission Model have to be incorporated into the system. This paper uses the Ashridge model to determine whether Twitter has a strong or weak strategic direction. The analysis also focuses on the reasons for the development of the company. A study of the models is also essential in determining the benefits of the current model to the management and employees of Twitter. The four components of the Ashridge model are described in relation to Twitter as follows.
An analysis of Twitter business overview provides quality answers relating to the existence of the company and the value the company adds. The company seeks to communicate its purpose through the mission statement. The report provided shows that Twitter's mission and need for existence are to provide people with the power to engage in the creation and exchange of information without barriers (Fox, 2014). The mission is anchored in the provision of information in a reliable and quick way. The company seeks to give people a chance to communicate with the world by developing and sharing ideas with people regardless of where they are. Thus, the platform is important to people who want to pass information to millions of people without any location or distance limitations. The company's niche is to bridge the gap in distance and access by making it possible for people to communicate. Therefore, the major users of the platform are people intending to share information easily to people in the rest of the world for different purposes. Also, the platform attracts advertisers since the message is available to millions of target customers at the same time.
Twitter's strategy describes the way in which the ideal components of the organization can be used to increase the rate at which the company can increase the achievement of its mission. These are the fundamental principles that the company must put in place if it intends to become the best in the market. Strategies aimed at increasing the success of the company, the accessibility of the brand in the market, and the reception and adoption of the company's core product. The strategy defines how the company deals with major business processes such as producing, promoting, pricing, and choosing the target market for the business. When the devoted users of Twitter are concerned about the company's mission, the investors are more concerned about the strategy.
The company has invested in research and development and technology as a way of increasing effectiveness in service delivery. These strategies are important to the company in dealing with high levels of competition in the digital industry. The company has also enhanced efficiency by creating a foundational pathway of data that enhances the transfer of information from one user to another or from one end of the server to the other (Bercovici, 2014). The company relies on a real-time architecture for the transfer of information from the user to the user.
Policies and behaviors
Twitter upholds diversity, culture, and intersectionality in the workforce and seeks to establish powerful and deep connections between people using the platform as well as the employees (Murthy, 2018). As such, the company has launched the Twitter Intersectionality, Culture, and Diversity team (ICD) in a bid to enhance positive global change and increase inclusivity and diversity in the workplace and in interactions (Twitter). The company also has several Affinity Groups and Business Resource Groups that have individual cultures and values that are representative of the company's values.
Strategic Decision-Making Theory
The concept of strategy as applied in business management refers to the way of action that is critical to the achievement of organizational goals in a situation where there is a scarcity of resources (Ahmed, Bwisa, Otieno, & Karanja, 2014). The strategy enables a company to gain a competitive advantage over other organizations in the same business. Strategic decision making makes use of three major strategies including competitive strategy, corporate strategy, and general strategy. Competitive strategies are concerned with the manner in which a company competes, corporate strategy deals with an organization's operative environment, and the last strategy focuses on the ways in which the company seeks to achieve its results with the resources available. Strategic decision making is a major success determinant for organizations (Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman, & Bamford, 2017). However, the process is sometimes confusing, complicated, and risky. The process entails three major steps, the first being the recognition of a need relating to the consumer or the brand. The need could be dissatisfaction on the side of the consumer or the need to expand by the firm. The second step involves the decision to fill the need or make a change, which is then followed by the implementation of the change. This article examines Twitter's strategy and the major decisions the company has adopted in an attempt to increase its competitiveness, corporate performance, and to connect the means and the ends.
Strategies can be emergent or deliberate; emergent strategies emerge as response mechanisms to external pressures while deliberate strategies are based on internal decisions (Kipping, & Cailluet, 2010). Twitter has pursued an emergent strategy and develops new strategies as a way of increasing its competitiveness. For example, the emergence of live videos on Facebook and Instagram pushed Twitter to adopt Periscope as a way of dealing with competition. The emergent strategies adopted by the company are discussed below.
As part of its strategic decision-making process, Twitter Inc. has adopted a number of key decisions. One of these major decisions includes the establishment and implementation of the Innovator's Patent Agreement (IPA) that was put in place in 2013 (Nazer, 2013). This strategy was adopted as a way of curbing patent wars and patent trolls that were dragging innovation. Twitter adopted this strategy as a way of protecting customers from being used as weapons and becoming victims of trolls. As such, the company gets assigned patients by developers and uses them specifically for defensive purposes. Any other use that deviates from this purpose must be agreed upon by the inventor. The IPA is a great motivation tool for innovators as it reduces the number of lawsuits, and competition and also enables the inventors to have a bigger voice (Nazer, 2013). As such, the strategy increases the rate at which the company achieves its purpose of making the platform even better.
Another strategic decision made by Twitter was the integration of Periscope into the social media platforms of Twitter. This strategy was adopted as a way of improving the competitiveness of Twitter and also as a way of increasing the strength of Periscope (Newton, 2016). Twitter wanted to bring live videos to its platforms to take back its share of the market from competitors such as Facebook. Also, the company was able to expand its product and increase the number of activities that customers can engage in on the platform.
Twitter has also developed products with features that enhance engagement metrics and the growth of the users. The product features also assist the company is positioning itself in a way that enhances long-term sustainability and increases its progress in relation to the GAAP profitability measures. The strategy relating to product features has also seen the company increase Twitter characters to 280 from 140 in 2017.
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