Mission Statements in Port Authorities: Empirical Analysis of Content in Spanish Port System
Keywords:Mission statement, Strategic plan, Port authority, Corporate identity, Port system, Content analysis
Introduction: A structured Strategic Planning process has been developed in the Spanish Port System since 1990s. One of the first elements of this process is the formulation of the mission statement of each Port Authority.
Aim: An in-depth review of the mission statements of the Spanish Port Authorities is carried out in this research, and mission statements are assessed from a theoretical point of view. The goal of the study is to discuss how mission statements of these entities are aligned with the international standards.
Methods: Mission statements are captured from public sources. Two criteria are used for the assessment: its content (analyzing if the mission statement reflects nine key elements usually considered internationally), and its length (number of words). As the first component is qualitative, a Delphi method was used in the assessment of this element.
Results: The mission statements of these Port Authorities reflect more frequently than the benchmark omparison made by over 50 companies seven of the nine key elements. The only two fields in which Spanish Port Authorities show a negative gap are those related to "technology” and “concern of employees”. In terms of length, the average of 32 words is shorter than the 50-100 words recommended by some authors.
Conclusions: The Strategic Planning in the Spanish Port Authorities is a long and well -structured process. Port Authorities are essentially market-oriented public organisms and their mission statements seems to be properly formulated following business practices in terms of their content.