What Is The Ashridge Model? The Ashridge Model In A Nutshell

The Ashridge model is the result of a research project conducted by Andrew Campbell and Sally Yeung. The Ashridge model provides a framework for creating a company mission statement. The project – which ran for two years – involved Campbell and Yeung interviewing 53 successful companies to give structure to the ideal mission statement. At the time, there was some degree of confusion around mission statements and what they should encompass or achieve.

Understanding the Ashridge model?

The Ashridge model is the result of a research project conducted by Andrew Campbell and Sally Yeung. 

The project – which ran for two years – involved Campbell and Yeung interviewing 53 successful companies to give structure to the ideal mission statement. At the time, there was some degree of confusion around mission statements and what they should encompass or achieve.

Campbell and Yeung’s findings resulted in a framework that would later become known as the Ashridge model. In the next section, this article will discuss the model and its four, linked elements.

The four elements of the Ashridge model

Four elements guide the crafting of a well-rounded mission statement.

1 – Purpose  

Why does the company exist? Some businesses find this question difficult to answer and avoid it altogether. 

In very general terms, Campbell and Yeung believe that organizations fall into three different categories:

  1. Shareholder benefit – in these organizations, a strategy that maximizes shareholder returns is preferred. 
  2. Shareholder satisfaction – these companies tend to act responsibly toward shareholders, customers, employees, and the environment without excelling. They may do this for altruistic reasons or to be seen to be doing the right thing.
  3. Higher ideal organizations – or those who prioritize following a higher, sometimes moral purpose over satisfying shareholders. Typically, this purpose involves some sort of social, ethical, or environmental change.

2 – Strategy

Strategy determines future actions, aligns the organization toward a common goal, and should define how the company intends to beat the competition. 

As a result, a mission statement should reflect organizational strategy. It should also reflect the current position the business finds itself in.

3 – Values

Values determine behaviors and beliefs which in turn influence company culture. 

In successful companies, there is a strong correlation between company values and employee values. Thus, the mission statement should reinforce these values and reflect wider employee sentiment.

4 – Behavioural standards

Behavioral standards describe the acting out of company values or strategy by employees in a real-world setting. Indeed, purpose and strategy are empty intellectual thoughts unless they are consistently displayed with action.

Again, the mission statement should support or reinforce these values. This is particularly important for brand image since consumers want to see businesses embodying the values they preach. 

For example, cosmetic retailer The Body Shop strives to produce cosmetics that do not harm animals or the environment. This environmental consciousness extends to its physical stores, with the company revolutionizing the now common two-bin system for waste and recycling. More importantly, The Body Shop employees receive training on environmental stewardship and embody the mission statement values customers expect. 

Benefits of the Ashridge model

Some of the benefits of using the Ashridge model include:

  • Value objectivity – given that organizational values need to be aligned with employee values, the model allows any incompatibility to be analyzed and measured. This brings much-needed objectivity to complex and less tangible cultural and human resource issues. What’s more, a business that understands where value discrepancies lie can then go about fixing them.
  • Reinforcement and clarification – the model also demands that strategy and values resonate and reinforce each other. Campbell and Yeung note that finding compatible values is simple, but analyzing their impact on strategy is more difficult. With an emphasis on behavioral standards, the model can bridge this gap by measuring the degree of resonance between strategy and values. When the relationship between both factors is understood, employees are less likely to have a cavalier attitude toward the company mission and act accordingly.

Key takeaways:

  • The Ashridge model is a framework for creating a company mission statement. It was created by researchers Andrew Campbell and Sally Yeung after interviewing 53 companies with successful mission statements.
  • The Ashridge model defines four elements of a sound mission statement: purpose, value, strategy, and behavioral standards. 
  • The Ashridge model brings objectivity to sometimes complex cultural or human resource issues. It also provides clarity on the behavior required of the organization to underpin its mission.

Connected Business Concepts

Venture capitalist, Dave McClure, coined the acronym AARRR which is a simplified model that enables us to understand what metrics and channels to look at, at each stage for the users’ path toward becoming customers and referrers of a brand.
A north star metric (NSM) is any metric a company focuses on to achieve growth. A north star metric is usually a key component of an effective growth hacking strategy, as it simplifies the whole strategy, making it simpler to execute at high speed. Usually, when picking up a North Start Metric, it’s critical to avoid vanity metrics (those who do not really impact the business) and instead find a metric that really matters for the business growth.
A marketplace is a platform where buyers and sellers interact and transact. The platform acts as a marketplace that will generate revenues in fees from one or all the parties involved in the transaction. Usually, marketplaces can be classified in several ways, like those selling services vs. products or those connecting buyers and sellers at B2B, B2C, or C2C level. And those marketplaces connecting two core players, or more.
network effect is a phenomenon in which as more people or users join a platform, the more the value of the service offered by the platform improves for those joining afterward.
A platform business model generates value by enabling interactions between people, groups, and users by leveraging network effects. Platform business models usually comprise two sides: supply and demand. Kicking off the interactions between those two sides is one of the crucial elements for a platform business model success.
In a negative network effect as the network grows in usage or scale, the value of the platform might shrink. In platform business models network effects help the platform become more valuable for the next user joining. In negative network effects (congestion or pollution) reduce the value of the platform for the next user joining. 
The virtuous cycle is a positive loop or a set of positive loops that trigger a non-linear growth. Indeed, in the context of digital platforms, virtuous cycles – also defined as flywheel models – help companies capture more market shares by accelerating growth. The classic example is Amazon’s lower prices driving more consumers, driving more sellers, thus improving variety and convenience, thus accelerating growth.
The Amazon Flywheel or Amazon Virtuous Cycle is a strategy that leverages customer experience to drive traffic to the platform and third-party sellers. That improves the selections of goods, and Amazon further improves its cost structure so it can decrease prices which spins the flywheel.

Main Free Guides:

$200 Off Library
No prize
Next time
$300 Off BMI Course
50% Off Flagship Book
No Prize
No luck today
Unlucky :(
No prize
Get your chance to win a prize!
I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy
Scroll to Top