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What Are Stakeholders?
Free Stakeholder Management Articles
The international standard providing guidance on social responsibility, ISO 26000, defines a stakeholder as an “individual or group that has an interest in any decision or activity of an organization.”
Stakeholders may include suppliers, internal staff (employees, workers), members, customers (shareholders, investors, consumers), regulators, and local and regional communities, to name a few. Additionally, stakeholders may include purchasers, clients, owners, and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations).
In order to identify who a stakeholder might be, ISO 26000, clause 5.3.2, suggests that an organization should ask the following questions:
- To whom does the organization have legal obligations?
- Who might be positively or negatively affected by the organization’s decisions or activities?
- Who is likely to express concerns about the decisions and activities of the organization?
- Who has been involved in the past when similar concerns needed to be addressed?
- Who can help the organization address specific impacts?
- Who can affect the organization’s ability to meet its responsibilities?
- Who would be disadvantaged if excluded from the engagement?
- Who in the value chain is affected?
The answer to any one of the above questions may determine if an individual or group is a stakeholder.
Stakeholder impact is the primary consideration of social responsibility. All stakeholder interests should be considered and balanced for an organization to be socially responsible.
The concept of the stakeholder may be very easy for the quality professional to understand. The same considerations that are made with customers and suppliers for quality assurance are expanded to employees, the local community, and other potential stakeholders when approaching social responsibility.
Use the left menu to find social responsibility resources available from ASQ, and see these recommendations related specifically to engaging stakeholders.
- Stakeholder-Driven Strategic Planning in Education: A Practical Guide for Developing and Deploying Successful Long-Range Plans
by Robert W. Ewy, published by Quality Press, 2009
- Stakeholder Engagement: A Good Practice Handbook for Companies Doing Business in Emerging Markets (PDF)
by International Finance Corporation, May 2007
- FRP Guide to Stakeholder Engagement (PDF)
by Facility Reporting Project (FRP), November 2007
- Corporate case studies on stakeholder engagement: