Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Kelly Werder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.


Organizations, Management, Strategy, Stakeholders


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the length and readability of a mission statement contribute to stakeholder behavior regarding the mission statement. The majority of studies in the mission statement literature have not attempted to find an empirical link between mission statement design and employee behavior. This study employed a 2 (length: long v. short) x 2 (readability: low v high) post-test only factorial design to test the relationship between message design and beliefs about the mission statement. Students at a large southeastern university (n=212) were shown the one of four treatments and asked to report their reactions on a brief questionnaire. Results indicated a significant link between readability and beliefs about the functionality of the mission statement. Using the theory of planned behavior, the effects of readability on beliefs about the mission statement were shown to be linked to behavioral intention. The results of this study partially support the relationship between message characteristics of mission statements and the behavioral intention of employees, as well as supporting the TPB model.