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Stakeholder Definition and Types of Stakeholders 1/2

Trying to ascertain what a stakeholder definition is, is a tough task for the simple reason that there are so many different types of stakeholders, depending upon the project, venture or enterprise involved.

However understandng who is a stakeholder is a good start. From this we can deduce that at a high level, a stakeholder definition is one who makes the decisions and gains a benefit from a successful outcome; ie someone who has a stake in it. By this I mean someone who has either invested their time, money or ideas into an enterprise.

However once you start looking at the detail you realise that this is too narrow a definition. Hence let's have a look at the different types of stakeholders to better gain an understanding of what their role is.

Types of Stakeholders

Looking at the average blue chip private sector Organisation you would expect the following stakeholder types to be seen.

Owners or Shareholders

This is related to the stakeholder who risks their own money in a venture. Whilst they will get a return on their investment, usually in the form of a dividend they have a vested interest in seeing the Organisation being successful, to not only guarantee their dividend but also to ensure it grows.

Employees

In the 1970's employees only had a very tenuous claim to being stakeholders in the Organisation they worked for. However with the advent of performance related bonuses which are usually related, even in part, to the success of the business as a whole, this has changed. Most employees in the private sector could now be termed as stakeholders, even when discounting those who are project management stakeholders.

Unions

It may not seem like it but Unions too are stakeholders in an Organisation. This is because their remit is to safeguard jobs and increase salaries. The more successful an Organisation, the more they can fulfil their own remit to their union members.

Customers

You might wonder at this one. After all as a customer surely you have bought the product and therefore don't actually care what happens to the Organisation afterwards? Well think of it this way. If you buy a Chrysler for a vast amount of money, and 6 months later it goes bust, what happens to the cost and availability of any servicing, repairs and spare parts you might need? Yes they go through the roof.

To read Part 2 of stakeholder definition and types of stakeholders please click here.

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