Mission Statement n Not, as might be expected, an invoice received from a religious establishment, but the latest pretentious term from the world of New Management. It means "objectives," and seems to be largely replacing the previously popular "corporate plan." The comings and goings of the modish terminology of the New Managers, and the array of documentation that the terminology reflects, constitute a potential field of study for a doctoral thesis. A "Duty Statement," for example, is a job description worded in sufficiently elementary terms to enable a dimwitted candidate to apply for the job. "Selection Criteria" are descriptions of job qualifications worded in sufficiently elementary terms to enable a dimwitted selection panel member to select the wrong candidate. And so on.
Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Mission Statement appears in the Second.