How companies to commit to the responsibility: Vision and mission statement

How companies to commit to the responsibility: Vision and mission statement

The numerous functions of goals in mind, then it is undoubtedly the first prerequisite for the increase of responsibility, ability of the Company to integrate the will to assume responsibility explicitly in the target system, and to require the company or its members on compliance with ethical Standards.

This Integration happens in a hierarchy at different levels of the target, as the figure schematically represents.

Most commonly propagated by Integration of ethical orientations as a hierarchy at the top levels of the goal, so the Vision and the mission statement. The Vision (in the same or a similar meaning is also referred to as corporate philosophy or basic mission) is to clarify the General attitude of the Company to their role and behavior in society.


  • “We bear social responsibility and are committed to a better world” (Siemens Corporate Responsibility Report 2003).
  • “We conduct our operations with honesty, integrity and openness, and with respect for the human rights and interests of our employees. We shall similarly respect the legitimate interests of those with whom we have relationships“ (Unilever’s Code of Business Principles).
  • “Ethical conduct and social responsibility characterize our way of doing business. We are honest and trustworthy. We do what we say we are going to do“ (Values and Vision of Levi Strauss & co.).
  • “Faber-Castell is committed to the 9 principles of the Global Compact and confirmed with the accession to this Initiative its support, to contribute to social and ecologically sustainable economies and better conditions for man and nature.” (Faber-Castell Social and environmental projects in 2003/04).
  • “We have made the commitment to the observance and promotion of internationally recognized principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption” (BASF report 2008).

While the Vision is basically the desire for responsibility are expressed, are the principles, which put together the mission statement, forms, concrete. You could also say, the Vision includes more of the values of the Company, so the fundamental conceptions of desirable States, and attitudes, such as. Observance of human rights and the preservation of the environment, or respectability, and trustworthiness.

In the principles, however, rather specific behavior to be formulated in standards. They refer to specific stakeholder groups and/or specific problem areas (eg. Pollution, corruption, poverty in the third world).

In the General principles of company-specific features to show, rather than in the visions. Chemical companies emphasize that the responsibility for the protection of the environment, companies are much more engaged in developing countries, on technology transfer, transfer pricing, local law, and child labour, large companies deal with the problems of their Power, for banks, insider transactions are an issue. But there are also large Similarities between the models. Thus, in most models as the addressees of the responsibility explicitly to the employees, the customers, the owners/shareholders and the Public, in part, the suppliers and competitors.

This post is an excerpt from the new book on corporate ethics.

Wie sich Unternehmen zur Verantwortung bekennen: Vision und LeitbildHow can be implemented the business ethics as a Management responsibility? A stronger orientation of the corporate guide on the guiding principle of a life-serving economy is more and more demanded. Elisabeth Gödel discusses the philosophical foundations of ethics and clarifies the relationship of ethics and Economics. The focus is on the institutionalisation of ethics is on the level of the individual company.

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