Skip to Main Content

Learning Objectives


  • Distinguish the differences between organizational visions, missions, values, and goals.

  • Determine the roles of the statement of a vision, a mission, the values, and the goals in the management of physical therapy practices in healthcare.

  • Critique vision and mission statements.

  • Relate vision, mission, and values to organizational culture.

  • Determine the potential influence of mission statements on individuals in organizations.

  • Determine the appropriate relationship between vision, mission, values, and goals of the American Physical Therapy Association and those of healthcare organizations.

  • Analyze various levels of goals for the management of physical therapy practices and healthcare services.

  • Prepare a vision mission statement and horizon goals.


The importance of visions and mission statements in the initial start-up and the ongoing development of healthcare businesses cannot be overestimated. The caveat is that they need to be derived from a thoughtful process that includes the input of all stakeholders to identify organizational values and how to accomplish goals. Including key stakeholders in the preparation of visions and missions accomplishes two things: (1) it increases the chance that they will truly reflect the organization at all levels, and (2) it increases the chance of buy-in when it is time for everyone to "walk the talk."

After they are created, the power of visions and mission statements lies in the role they play in the culture of the organization as they guide the expectations and decisions of all stakeholders. This power is dependent on managers effectively communicating and sharing the organization's vision and mission statement to develop a sense of unity and security. A shared common purpose results if an organization and its members consistently emulate its vision and mission. If, however, the stakeholders perceive the organization's vision and mission as empty expressions that are forced on them, the result is more likely to be disillusionment and low morale.

Because of the importance of the vision and mission, establishing them is a critical beginning step in strategic planning for new organizations or organizations that are changing direction because of external influences or internal disturbances. The physical therapist managing a small independent practice, the healthcare manager leading a multidisciplinary staff, and the chief executive officer guiding a large healthcare system must each establish visions and missions.

Clarifying the difference between vision and mission statements is important, and the question of whether the vision or mission comes first in strategic planning probably is essentially a matter of choice. Typically, however, beginning something new starts with a look to the future and establishes the premise for the business—its vision. It then focuses on what it needs to get there—its mission. A vision is what the business seeks to become and is a source of inspiration for stakeholders. A mission statement reflects what the business is about—its purpose—now. It is a declaration of its values and beliefs and defines customers, processes, ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.