What is the difference between stockholder and stakeholder?

If you prioritize short-term wins and revenue gains over everything else, you might sacrifice your company culture, business relationships, and customer satisfaction in the process. Shareholders are always stakeholders in a corporation, but stakeholders are not always shareholders. A shareholder owns part of a public company through shares of stock, while a stakeholder has an interest in the performance of a company for reasons other than stock performance or appreciation. (They have a „stake“ in its success or failure.) As a result, the stakeholder has a greater need for the company to succeed over the longer term. Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organizations that have a vested interest in a business and can affect and be affected by the business operations and performance.

  • And they don’t have to be within your organization either—for example, an external agency you work with might be a stakeholder on an upcoming event.
  • Shareholders have the power to impact management decisions and strategic policies.
  • Stakeholders focus on the company’s overall performance, how it treats customers, partners, and employees, and how it impacts the community, among other things.

Internal stakeholders want their projects to succeed so the company can do well overall—plus they want to be treated well and advance in their roles. That can mean different things, like receiving a great product, experiencing solid customer service, or participating in a respectful and mutually beneficial partnership. Warren Buffett bought his first stock in the spring of 1942—when he was publication 537 installment sales just 11 years old. While other kids were playing baseball and trading comic books, Buffett purchased six shares of CITGO stock at $38 a piece and became a company shareholder for the first time. The terms stakeholder and shareholder are sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably. A shareholder can sell their stock and buy different stock; they do not have a long-term need for the company.

Should You Focus on Shareholders or Stakeholders?

A stakeholder is a person who has an interest in a corporation or is affected by the actions taking by the corporation. A stakeholder may be an employee, the family of an employee, the vendors who work with the company, its customers, and even the community where the business operates. For example, if the company’s operations are terminated, employees will lose their jobs, and this means that they will no longer receive regular paychecks to support their families. Similarly, the suppliers will no longer provide the company with essential raw materials and products, and this results in not only a loss of income but also forces the suppliers to look for new markets for their products. A project management tool can help simplify the stakeholder management process.

  • Although shareholders do not take part in the day-to-day running of the company, the company’s charter gives them some rights as owners of the company.
  • Shareholders have the right to exercise a vote and to affect the management of a company.
  • Many CEOs of public companies are also shareholders, especially if stock options are a part of their compensation package.
  • That means instead of aiming for quick wins, you’re investing in your future.

Despite the common confusion, stakeholders are not the same as shareholders. You could say they already are since they feel the effects of a company’s profits or losses. They may have opinions, but at the end of the day, financial value is a shareholder’s main motivator.

Definition of Stakeholder

Examples of internal stakeholders include employees, shareholders, and managers. On the other hand, external stakeholders are parties that do not have a direct relationship with the company but may be affected by the actions of that company. Examples of external stakeholders include suppliers, creditors, and community and public groups.

Rights of a Stockholder

A CEO may be an owner of a private company without being a shareholder (as there are no shares to buy). Under this theory, prioritizing the needs and interests of stakeholders over shareholders is more likely to lead to long-term success, both for the business and for the communities that it is a part of. This stakeholder mindset is, in turn, likely to create long-term value for both shareholders and stakeholders. It can be said that stockholders are always stakeholders in a company, but stakeholders are not always stockholders. A public company is owned by its investors, who hold shares in its stock.

Stakeholder vs. Shareholder: How They’re Different & Why It Matters

Mere subscribing to shares does not amount to ownership of shares, until and unless shares are actually allotted to him. They are the people who directly affected by the activities of the company. A stakeholder is any party, group or individual with a special interest — or stake — in a certain company. They can include employees, customers, localities, parts of the supply chain and the government or non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

In the given article excerpt, we’ve broken down all the important differences between shareholders and stakeholders. This doesn’t mean that shareholder theory is an “anything goes” drive to lift profits. However, social responsibility is structured into the stakeholder theory, but the benefits must also meet the corporation’s bottom line. Shareholders are a subset of the larger stakeholders’ grouping but don’t take part in the day-to-day operations of the company or project.

Similarly, your customers can be stakeholders when their preferences directly influence your product. A shareholder can be an individual, company, or institution that owns at least one share of a company and therefore has a financial interest in its profitability. Majority interest means a stockholder holding more than 50% of outstanding shares of the company and has a controlling interest in the company.