As was mentioned in the Course Introduction, there is variation from expert to expert with respect to labels for concepts and content within those labels, for the various components of an organization. These differences reflect the state of the art in the field of OPD and the fact that this field is far from a "unified science" which everyone buys into.

The Course Introduction goes on to state that:

There is widespread agreement among experts that the organization’s (or business unit’s) mission, vision, and key strategies are three critical "building blocks" of an organization because they define the organization and where it is going and provide direction for "getting there." However, there is significant variation in the way that different experts define and develop a mission statement and even how they characterize mission statements versus vision statements. And in a similar vein, there are significant differences in the way that experts refer to key strategies. Some call that concept the "overall strategy," while others name it "strategic planks," and still others refer to it as the "strategic plan." There are also differences in how various experts actually go about creating the organization’s strategy.

You will have the opportunity to observe and reflect on different definitions used by various experts during this week’s work.

To prepare for this assignment:

Review the readings from the texts and articles that discuss organizations’ building blocks: mission, vision, and strategies.
Reflect on the similarities and difference between and among these building blocks.
Locate an organization whose mission and vision statements and key strategy(ies) (which may be found in the organization’s strategic plan) all are available to you. Use the organization you’ve selected for your Final Project, if possible, or another of your choosing).
Consider how each of this organization’s building blocks is similar and different, and analyze how well they portray this organization’s identity.
Review the course media, "Building Blocks of the Organization" and reflect on the definitions and examples presented by Edie Goldberg and Soren Kaplan.
Think about the function of each of these three building blocks for this organization.
The assignment: (1–2 pages)

List the mission and vision statements for your selected organization, as well as its key strategy or summary of its key strategies.
Compare these building blocks. Explain the similarities and differences between and among the blocks.
Explain how well you think these statements portray the organization’s identity.
Explain the function of each of these building blocks for the organization.
Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.



Course Text: Business: A Changing World
Chapter 6, “The Nature of Management” (pp. 176-185)
Course Text: Behavior in Organizations
Chapter 16, “Managing Organizational Change: Strategic Planning and Organizational Development”
The following articles are available in Walden’s online library, in the Business Source Premier database. See Directions for Accessing Online Articles. This document contains directions for how to find the required article(s) in the Walden Library databases.

Bower, J. L., & Gilbert, C. G. (2007, February). How managers’ everyday decisions create or destroy your company’s strategy. Harvard Business Review, 85(2), 72-79.
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1996). Envisioning your future: Imagining ideal scenarios. Futurist, 30(3), 14-20.
Peyrefitte, J., & David, F. (2006). A content analysis of the mission statements of United States firms in four industries. International Journal of Management, 23(2), 296-301.
Porter, M. E. (1996, November-December). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 74(6), 61-78.
Secretan, L. (2006, December). Learning to dream. Associations Now, 2(13), 49-50.


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