There are numerous key differences between shareholders and stakeholders, which are summarized as follows. Every business has both shareholders and stakeholders, but how exactly do these two groups differ? In this article, we’ll delve into the difference between shareholder and stakeholder, as well as present a helpful table to guide you in understanding their respective roles. Read on to learn more about each group and how they affect the success of a business.

  • When workers lose their jobs, it becomes a negative experience for them as a stakeholder.
  • Stakeholders come in many different forms, from independent contributors to company executives.
  • When a company’s operations could increase environmental pollution or take away a green space within a community, for example, the public at large is affected.
  • Stakeholders are more concerned with the longevity of their relationship with the organization and a better quality of service.

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. The terms “stakeholder” and “shareholder” are often used interchangeably in the business environment. Looking closely at the meanings of stakeholder vs. shareholder, there are key differences in usage. A project management tool can help simplify the stakeholder management process.

Shares represent a small piece of ownership in an organization—so if you open a brokerage account and buy shares of a company, you essentially own a portion of it. Although stakeholders do not have a direct relationship with the company, they may be affected by the company’s actions or performance. There are two categories of the external customers with whom the organization need to develop relationships. The first category are the direct customers whom the organization supplies the materials and in the second category those customers come who uses the supplied materials ultimately.

Differences Between Stakeholders and Shareholders

Improving shareholder value is not always easy, but it is important for both shareholders and companies. By doing so, companies can ensure that their investors are accounting for exchange of plant assets happy and that they are making money. They can have a deep interest in and feel the effects of company strategy, but they don’t have to own shares to do so.

  • Stakeholders also provide constant criticism to fix any flaw in the company and create room for creativity by allowing the people to give their opinions regarding the operations.
  • Stakeholder theory, on the other hand, notes that it’s the business manager’s ethical duty to both corporate shareholders and the community at large that the activities that benefit the company don’t harm the community.
  • Shareholder theory was first introduced in the 1960s by economist Milton Friedman.
  • He argues that decisions about social responsibility (like how to treat employees and customers) rest on the shoulders of shareholders rather than company executives.
  • Stockholders are individuals, companies, or organizations that hold the stocks of a business.

This framework connects the people of the organization with one another, and with its stakeholders with the stakeholders. For doing it, management is required to identify critical relationship, develop satisfactory working relationships with several key individuals and groups involved, and finally work for the maintenance of these relationships. According to economist Milton Friedman, this theory states that a company should focus on creating wealth for its stockholders. He claims that decisions regarding social responsibility, like how to treat employees, rest on the shoulders of stockholders rather than the company executives.

ProjectManager Satisfies Stakeholders and Shareholders

A majority shareholder is an individual or entity owning at least 50% of the company’s outstanding shares. “Shareholders” and “stakeholders” are two terms within project management that sound similar but have very different meanings. The biggest difference between the two is that shareholders focus on a return of their investment.

More Resources

It’s not as easy to pull up stakes, so to speak, as it can be for shareholders. However, their relationship to the organization is tied up in ways that make the two reliant on one another. The success of the organization or project is just as critical, if not more so, for the stakeholder over the shareholder. Stakeholder analysis is an important element of planning that must be done by project managers to identify and prioritize stakeholders before the project begins. Stakeholders and shareholders have different viewpoints, depending on their interest in the company.

Company ownership

It could be held in a personal portfolio, an IRA, a 401k plan, or some other tax-advantaged savings plan. On the other hand, stakeholders are focused on much more than just finances. 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.

Majority shareholders can steer a corporation’s direction dramatically, but its overall trajectory relies on its many minority shareholders too. Investors, venture capitalists, banks, fund managers and others who own company stock are classified as shareholders. The stakeholder group is a significantly broader category than shareholders.

Shareholder Theory

To be a partial owner, a stockholder must at least own one share in a company’s stock or mutual fund. They have to right to vote on matters related to the business and can even be elected to be a member of the board of directors. Therefore, stakeholders can be internal, such as employees, shareholders and managers—but stakeholders can also be external. They are parties that are not directly in a relationship with the organization itself, but still, the organization’s actions affect it, such as suppliers, vendors, creditors, the community and public groups. Basically, stakeholders are those who will be impacted by the project when in progress and those who will be impacted by the project when completed.

What Is a Shareholder or a Stockholder?

A shareholder can sell their stock and buy different stock; they do not have a long-term need for the company. Stakeholders, however, are bound to the company for a longer term and for reasons of greater need. Shareholders and stakeholders are likely to have similar views on long-term timelines.

For years there has been a discussion about the perceived unfairness of what is called “double taxation” on corporate shareholders. Briefly, double taxation, as imposed by the IRS, is first a tax on the earnings of the corporation, then a tax on those earnings distributed to shareholders as dividends. If you were paid a dividend or other distribution from a corporation during the year, you will receive a Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions form. Give this form to your tax preparer or include it with other income on your tax return.