What Is a Stakeholder? Definitions, Types & Examples 1 year ago

As an example, Rhenman (1973) states that “the participants in an organization are the individuals and groups that depend on it for the realisation of their personal goals, and on whom the organisation depends for its existence” (p. 13)—and gives reference to Rhenman (1968). However, Rhenman (1968) states that “the stakeholders in an organization are the individuals or groups dependent on the company for the realization of their personal goals and on whom the company is dependent for its existence” (p. 25). Due to the similarities of the two definitions, we clearly see that Rhenman is writing about the same phenomenon in both books, even though the nomenclature changes from stakeholders in Rhenman (1968) to participants in Rhenman (1973). Additional evidence supports this argument; a visual representation of Rhenman’s stakeholder theory—in some publications called “Rhenman’s Rose” (Andersen, 2008)—appears alongside the definitions mentioned previously in both books. In Rhenman (1968), The Company is placed in the rose’s middlle, and the rose petals consist of Employees, Management, Local authorities, Owners, Customers, The State, and Suppliers (p. 25). In Rhenman (1973), Hospital is placed in the rose’s middle, and the rose petals consist of Personnel, Hospital management, County authorities, Patients, State and local government, and Suppliers (p. 13).

Once an organization or project has identified and ranked those stakeholders, it often identifies at what stage those different stakeholders should be prioritized and engaged with. For instance, investors are prioritized at the beginning of a project to elicit their investment. By contrast, project management best practices recommend that project team members be engaged more regularly as a project progresses.

  1. Suppliers and vendors sell goods and/or services to a business and rely on it for revenue generation and on-going income.
  2. Stakeholders can be members of the organization they have a stake in, or they can have no official affiliation.
  3. They interact directly with customers, earn money to support themselves, and give support to the business operations as well.

The authors therefore suggest that management continuously assesses each stakeholder’s capacity, opportunity, and willingness to help or harm the organization. Based on the assessment, management should choose strategies to deal with the various stakeholders business definition stakeholders and, if necessary, prioritize among them. It is important to notice that the assessment and prioritization should not be done once and for all, but should be issue-based (Savage et al., 1991, building on Freeman, 1984).

Types of Stakeholders

Rhenman (1973) considered the case study as pioneer work and saw his contribution as “to suggest languages … which can be used to describe important sub-systems of an organization in great detail” (Rhenman, 1973, p. xviii). According to Rhenman (1968), the two goals of industrial democracy were (a) to increase productivity, and (b) to balance various interests within the company. The task of Rhenman and his colleagues was to trace the relation between these goals and various means. With those criteria in mind, it’s an excellent exercise to brainstorm a bit and see who might qualify.

A shareholder, though, is someone who has invested in a corporation through the purchase of stocks. A stakeholder has an interest in the corporation’s overall performance, not stock performance. Gain unlimited access to more than 250 productivity Templates, CFI’s full course catalog and accredited Certification Programs, hundreds of resources, expert reviews and support, the chance to work with real-world finance and research tools, and more.

stakeholder noun

Depending on the situation, stakeholders can have a significant impact on the operational and financial decisions of a business. Some stakeholders may be more involved in the business, while others may not do anything other than engage with the business as needed. Instead of letting them loose on the endless list of potential features and enhancements added to the product, the roadmap can provide a focal point and elevate the conversation to a more strategic level. It gets them out of worrying about specific line items and instead allows them to take a big picture view of where things are heading; while channeling their enthusiasm to major themes instead of individual items.

Stakeholder theory and analysis

Rhenman (1973) emphasizes the importance of defining the range and boundaries of the organization to be studied. In the hospital case study, the researchers have chosen to define the range of the hospital on the basis of its formal management structure. In sum, Rhenman (1973) provides a thorough template for conducting an in-depth case study as well as how to apply and study stakeholder thinking in business and management. Although some stakeholders are apparent, some may be https://business-accounting.net/ less discernible at first glance. When product managers get started at a new company or begin working on a different product, it’s helpful to take the time and perform some stakeholder analysis to identify who may be relevant for that particular situation. In more practical terms, stakeholder theory seeks to describe and examine the connections between stakeholder legitimate interests, stakeholder management practices, and the achievement of the goals of an organization.

Secured creditors are first in line, followed by unsecured creditors, preferred shareholders, and finally owners of common stock (who may receive pennies on the dollar, if anything at all). This example illustrates that not all stakeholders have the same status or privileges. For instance, workers in the bankrupt company may be laid off without any severance. All stakeholders are bound to a company by some type of vested interest, usually for the long term and for reasons of need.

The traditional idea of a business’s purpose is that it should operate with the goal of maximizing shareholder wealth. However, stakeholder theory goes beyond shareholder wealth maximization as the sole goal of a business. The liberal idea of autonomy is captured by the realization that each stakeholder must be free to enter agreements that create value for themselves, and solidarity is realized by the recognition of the mutuality of stakeholder interests. Rhenman (1968) states that even though management of a company can be regarded as a stakeholder, this group has the responsibility to act as a mediator that resolves conflicts between the stakeholders and, when necessary, decides which claims to satisfy.

Managers should avoid altogether activities that might jeopardize inalienable human rights (e.g. the right to life) or give rise to risks that, if clearly understood, would be patently unacceptable to relevant stakeholders. Managers should listen to and openly communicate with stakeholders about their respective concerns and contributions, and about the risks that they assume because of the involvement with the corporation. Managers should acknowledge and actively monitor the concerns of all legitimate stakeholders, and should take their interests appropriately into account in decision-making and operations. Rhenman and his colleagues undertook an in-depth case study of a Swedish hospital, starting in February 1965 (Rhenman, 1969, 1973).

Who is the most important stakeholder of all?

Many authors followed the network idea, including Rowley and Moldoveanu (2003), who made an interest- and identity-based model of stakeholder group mobilization, and Savage et al. (2010), who discussed implications of stakeholder collaboration for stakeholder theory and practice. External stakeholders are those outside of a company who are indirectly affected by its decisions and outcomes. External stakeholders include customers, suppliers, government agencies, creditors, labor unions and community groups. These entities are also referred to as secondary stakeholders because their stake in the company or project is often more representational than direct. Internal stakeholders are those within a company whose interest stems from direct employment, ownership or investment.

A stakeholder is anyone who has any type of stake in a business, while a shareholder is someone who owns shares (stock) in a business and thereby has an equity interest. Stakeholder capitalism is a system in which corporations are oriented to serve the interests of all of their stakeholders. All of the analysis you’ve done can now be used to gain support and get buy-in for your project.

Successful relationships with stakeholders are essential to your company’s success. The local community has a stake in the business because it provides jobs, which generate economic activity within the community. Societyas a whole (as well as the local community) is concerned about the impact that business operations have on the environment in terms of noise, air, and water pollution. A business with an engaged community of stakeholders will reap financial benefits from these relationships.

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