Petron’s empty vision and mission.
A homework for StraMa: Evaluation of a company’s Vision and Mission.
To be the leading provider of total customer solutions in the energy sector and its derivative businesses.
David cites Campbell and Yeung in defining vision as “a possible and desirable future state of an organization” that includes specific goals. Petron’s vision statement is neither. The largest energy provider is Enel, with a lot of other companies competing for the top position such as Engie, General Electric among others. On the fuel sector on the other hand, bigger superpowers are playing at the highest valuation such as Saudi Aramco and Shell. Considering that Petron is a local company in Asia, despite being the largest in the Philippines, it is nowhere near being able to dominate the global market. One must consider that a vision statement can definitely change given varying circumstances. It would benefit Petron to have a clearer vision by being specific and realistic.
Being an integral part of the customers’ lives, delivering consistent customer experience through innovative products and services;
This part tackles too many things at once, being integral implies a bait and hook business strategy, while consistency and innovation are two directly conflicting ideas. According to David’s framework, a mission statement must create a clear emotional motivator, which at the onset, this very first statement does not fully deliver.
Developing strategic partnerships in pursuit of growth and opportunity;
Although developing strategic partnerships can be a mission in itself, a strategy cannot be superimposed to what is supposedly a guiding principle for building a strategy, hence Petron needs to understand the reason why strategic partnerships for growth and opportunity are important in the first place. One may even view partnerships as a strategy towards growth and opportunity, but what drives the motivation towards growth and opportunity? Why would petron want to grow, and what opportunities does it want to exploit? This bullet then becomes a self defeating self reference that does not help in guiding key actors in the company towards a clear goal.
Leveraging on their refining assets to achieve competitive advantage;
At this point, Petron is just trying to be a cog in a huge conglomerate of San Miguel. How would achieving competitive advantage be a mission? Imagine asking a person what their mission is, I wouldn’t expect the answer to be “my mission is to be competitive”. Having good assets and being competitive is a side effect, and clearly a requisite towards achieving a certain goal aka a mission. Three bullets down the mission statements and Petron is still talking about money.
Fostering an entrepreneurial culture that encourages teamwork, innovation, and excellence;
The first clear mission statement out of all that serves the purpose of having a mission, and also conforms to David’s framework or guideline that missions must serve as an emotional anchor. There’s not much to say about this one except the sustained capitalist agenda is still stubbornly forced into the values by confining teamwork, innovation, and excellence into “entrepreneurship” which doesn’t necessarily have to be a burden carried by those from the middle management down to the lowest ranking staff employees.
Caring for community and the environment;
Clear non-mission statement once again. If we remove the nouns, we can easily test if a mission works or not. Let’s hear the question “what’s your mission?”, would the answer be “My mission is to care”. Clearly, Petron being a company that profits off of fossil fuels is essentially taking the softest and most passive possible stance towards CSR.
Conducting themselves with professionalism, integrity, and fairness; and
At this point it’s worth asking what Petron’s upper management perspective is when it comes to mission statements. Clearly, the conduct of doing work should be done with professionalism, integrity, and fairness. These are traits that exist as a requisite to good work ethic and any other business practice. Ideally, one would hope that any major actor in the company would be professional, fair, and a person of integrity. A mission implies that the thing is something that you strive towards, and having a mission statement that says that a company strives towards conducting themselves in the aforementioned traits would also imply that those traits are absent in status quo, which I highly doubt because Petron is a huge company with a lot of competitive employees and leaders. Ultimately, I would argue that this bullet is unnecessary.
Promoting the best interest of all their stakeholders
This last part is the one that may be appreciated the most because it’s vague enough to leave space for different kinds of interests. It means that interest doesn’t necessarily mean profit or more money, but could potentially be sustainability, or have the company as one of the leaders in renewable energy.
Suggested Mission and Vision Statement
“To be South-east Asia’s top provider of total customer solutions in the energy sector and its derivative businesses”
Adding the location allows for the vision to elaborate on the market that Petron has a probable chance of dominating. This creates a vision that is both clear and specific in a way that helps management and executives to develop a precise strategy of achieving.
- “To provide a necessary added value to the quality of life of its consumers by delivering consistent customer experience through innovative products and services;”
- “To be the leading company in transitioning towards sustainable and renewable energy by leveraging its refining assets to gain competitive advantage.”
These two statements provides a clear mission that achieves the standard of David’s framework in providing an emotional motivator to all the employees and workers, while providing a guideline in developing strategies and objectives for the company.
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Special thanks to Kuya John Baluyot, founder of Positive Workplaces for teaching student leaders and other company leaders about strategic management that incorporates ethics and values as a driving motivator for organizations. This was two years ahead of me taking up StraMa as a major course in college.
- David, Fred R. (2011). Strategic management: concepts and cases, 13th ed. (13th). New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
- Petron. (2018). Who we are. Petron Corporation. Official Website. https://www.petron.com/who-we-are/