Modern businesses are complex entities that rely on a wide array of stakeholders to function appropriately. Thus, there is no possibility to create a list of stakeholders that would be relevant for the majority of businesses. However, it is possible to identify the main categories that include all major groups of stakeholders. The first category, known as internal stakeholders, includes individuals directly responsible for the organization’s decision-making process. In most cases, this category will be comprised of the owners of a business, the management, and the employees.
The second group is termed external stakeholders and includes parties interested in the activities of the business. The most apparent example of an external stakeholder is the consumer of products or services produced by the company. Suppliers of materials also fall into this category. In some cases, policymakers, shareholders, and society can also be included. The basis behind this classification is the degree of control over the activities of the business. Business owners and managers are directly responsible for the development and implementation of business decisions. The task is then distributed via the managerial structure to employees who implement respective components of the solution.