In my “Introduction to Museum Management” course at George Washington University, we spend an entire day on the purpose and value of mission statements, which is prompted by a wide-ranging set of readings:
- Anderson, Gail. “A Framework: Reinventing the Museum” in Reinventing the Museum, pages 1-9.
- Drucker, Peter. “The Commitment”, “Leadership is a Foul-Weather Job”, and “Summary: The Action Implications.” Chapters 1, 2, and 5 in Part 1 in Managing the Nonprofit Organization.
- Weil, Stephen. “Creampuffs and Hardball: Are You Really Worth What You Cost or Just Merely Worthwhile?” Chapter 11 in Reinventing the Museum.
- “Mission and Planning” in AAM’s Standards for U.S. Museums, pages 33-37.
- Desmidt, Sebastian, Anita Prinzie, and Adelien Decramer, “Looking for the Value of Mission Statements: A Meta-Analysis of 20 Years of Research.” Management Decision 49, no. 3 (2011), 468-483.
- Liket, Kellie C., Marta Rey-Garcia, and Karen E. H. Maas, “Why Aren’t Evaluations Working and What to Do About It: A Framework for Negotiating Meaningful Evaluation in Nonprofits,” American Journal of Evaluation 35, no. 2 (June 2014): 171-188.
Each of the readings prompted a list of principles and practices for mission statements, which they used to assess a set of 20 randomly-selected mission statements from museums in the United States. Based on their analysis, they identified the following mission statements as models of excellence (in alphabetical order): Continue reading