13/10/17 What is a Stakeholder?

Stakeholder

A stakeholder is a party that has an interest in a company, and can either affect or be affected by the business. The primary stakeholders in a typical corporation are its investors, employees and customers. However, the modern theory of the idea goes beyond this original notion to include additional stakeholders such as a community, government or trade association.

Stakeholders can be internal or external. Internal stakeholders are people whose interest in a company comes through a direct relationship, such as through employment, ownership or investment. External stakeholders are those people who do not directly work with a company but are affected in some way by the actions and outcomes of said business. Suppliers, creditors and public groups are all considered external stakeholders.

Conversely, external stakeholders may also sometimes have a direct effect on a company but are not directly tied to it. The government, for example, is an external stakeholder. When it makes policy changes on carbon emissions, continuing from above, the decision affects the operations of any business with increased levels of carbon.

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