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Roles, rights, and responsibilities of stakeholders

Business Studies Notes and

Related Essays

Stakeholders in a Business

 A Level/AS Level/O Level

Your Burning Questions Answered!

Analyze the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders in a business, explaining how they influence decision-making and governance.

Discuss the rights of stakeholders, examining legal and ethical obligations that businesses have towards them.

Evaluate the impact of stakeholder engagement on business performance and sustainability.

Examine the potential conflicts of interest that may arise among stakeholders and discuss strategies to manage them effectively.

Analyze the role of stakeholder management in corporate social responsibility, exploring the importance of aligning business objectives with stakeholder expectations.

Stakeholders in Business: Who's Got a Seat at the Table?

Imagine a company like Apple. They make iPhones, laptops, and other cool gadgets, right? But those gadgets don't appear out of thin air. Making them involves a whole bunch of people with different interests and roles. That's where the concept of stakeholders comes in.

#1. Who are Stakeholders?

Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organizations that have a vested interest in a business. They're not just customers, but anyone who can be affected by the business's actions, or whose actions can affect the business. Think of them as people who have a "stake" in how the company does.

#2. The Stakeholder Family Tree:

There are many types of stakeholders, and they come with different expectations and roles:

Internal Stakeholders:

These folks work directly within the company, like:

  • Employees: They rely on the company for their salaries, benefits, and career development.
  • Managers: They oversee operations and make key decisions.
  • Owners: They invest in the business and are concerned with profits.

External Stakeholders:

They aren't employed by the company, but still have a strong connection:

  • Customers: They buy the company's products or services and expect quality and value.
  • Suppliers: They provide materials and resources necessary for production.
  • Creditors: They lend money to the business and expect timely repayment.
  • Government: They regulate and enforce laws, collect taxes, and may even be a customer.
  • Community: They are impacted by the business's environmental and social impact.
  • Investors: They invest in the company's stock, hoping for good returns.

Example: Imagine a local bakery. Their stakeholders include the bakers (internal), customers (external), the bank that gave them a loan (external), and the city council that regulates food safety (external).

#3. Rights and Responsibilities:

Each stakeholder group has its own set of rights and responsibilities towards the business.


  • Employees: The right to fair pay, safe working conditions, and opportunities for advancement.
  • Customers: The right to safe products, reliable service, and honest information.
  • Suppliers: The right to timely payments and fair contracts.
  • Investors: The right to accurate information about the company's performance and financial status.
  • Community: The right to a clean environment and responsible business practices.


  • Employees: To work hard, be ethical, and contribute to the company's success.
  • Customers: To pay for goods and services, be respectful of employees, and report any issues fairly.
  • Suppliers: To provide high-quality goods and services, meet deadlines, and be reliable.
  • Investors: To provide capital and support the company's long-term goals.
  • Community: To contribute to the local economy, support environmental protection, and be a good neighbor.

Example: A social media company has a responsibility to protect user data (to customers) and to provide employees with a healthy work environment (to employees).

#4. Balancing Stakeholder Interests:

Managing a business means balancing the needs of different stakeholders. This can be tricky, as their interests may sometimes clash. For example, a company might want to cut costs to increase profits (investor interest), but this could mean lower wages for employees.

Companies often use a stakeholder matrix to prioritize their focus on different stakeholders. This helps them strategically manage the needs of various groups while aiming for the best overall outcome for the company.

#5. The Importance of Stakeholder Engagement:

In the modern business world, it's crucial for companies to engage with their stakeholders. This means actively communicating with them, listening to their concerns, and working collaboratively to find solutions.

Examples of stakeholder engagement:

  • Holding town hall meetings with employees to gather feedback.
  • Creating online forums for customers to share their experiences.
  • Sponsoring local events and supporting community initiatives.

By understanding and engaging with its stakeholders, a company can build trust, improve its reputation, and ultimately achieve long-term success.

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