They have a financial interest in the success of the organization, not the individuals who work there. Shareholders are more likely to advocate for growth, expansion, acquisitions, mergers and other acts that will increase the company’s profitability. Stakeholders tend to have a long-term relationship with the organization. It’s not as easy to pull up stakes, so to speak, as it can be for shareholders.

Depending on the type of shares you own, being a shareholder lets you receive dividends, vote on company policies like mergers and acquisitions, and elect members of the company’s board of directors. Anyone who owns common stock in a company can vote, but the number of shares you own dictates how much power your vote carries. That means big investors hold the most sway over a company’s overall strategic plan. Stakeholders and shareholders also may have competing interests depending on their relationship with the organization or company. But these ways of increasing profits go directly against the interests of stakeholders such as employees and residents of the local community.

Main Differences Between Stockholders and Stakeholders

This, however, doesn’t mean that companies can do as they please because their practices are still subject to applicable laws. When evaluating the differences between stakeholders and shareholders, one might be tempted to say there’s no right or wrong answer. That’s true in that neither side deserves to be judged solely for its motivations or principles. The worst thing for either stakeholders or shareholders is to feel out of the loop. ProjectManager keeps stakeholders and shareholders a part of the project and aware of its progress with its real-time dashboard.

A shareholder is an individual or organization that owns shares in a publicly-traded or privately held company and, therefore, has an interest in its profitability. Depending on the types of shares they own, they can receive dividends, vote on corporate policy or amendments, or elect a board of directors. Stakeholders might be financially interested in a company, but not necessarily because they are shareholders. For example, a company’s employees are stakeholders but may or may not own shares of stock.

Stock Price Valuation vs. Broader Success

A stakeholder is a party that has an interest in the company’s success or failure. A stakeholder can affect or be affected by the company’s policies and objectives. Internal stakeholders have a direct relationship with the company either through employment, ownership, or investment. If the company’s share price increases, the shareholder’s value increases, while if the company performs poorly and its stock price declines, then the shareholder’s value decreases. Shareholders would prefer the company’s management to take actions that increase the share price and dividends and improve their financial position. Because stakeholders are typically more concerned with a company’s long-term financial stability, they may have different priorities than shareholders, who may be interested only as long as they own stock.

You can then create a plan and project roadmap that specifically address various stakeholder requirements. Instead of backlash or opposition, you have a better chance of obtaining support for your projects this way. Just as investors look to balance and diversify their portfolios to maximize capital, companies benefit from balancing financial goals with business ethics. Shareholders and stakeholders are likely to have similar views on long-term timelines. When workers lose their jobs, it becomes a negative experience for them as a stakeholder.

It is opposed to the stakeholder theory, which takes into account the interests of all stakeholders when making business decisions. Every company raises capital from the market by issuing shares to the general public. The shareholder is the person who has bought the shares of the company either from the primary market or secondary market, after which he has got the legal part ownership in the capital of the company. Share Certificate is given to every individual shareholder for the number of shares held by him. Stakeholders include investors, employees, suppliers, customers, trade associations, communities, and government, while stockholders include all those who own at least one share of the company’s stocks.

What is the difference between a shareholder and a stakeholder?

If shareholders notice anything unusual in the financial records, they can sue the company directors and senior officers. Also, shareholders have a right to a proportionate allocation of proceeds when the company’s assets are sold either due to bankruptcy or dissolution. They, however, receive their share of the proceeds after creditors and preferred shareholders have been paid. Although shareholders keep wave customers are owners of the company, they are not liable for the company’s debts or other arising financial obligations. The company’s creditors cannot hold the shareholders liable for any debts that it owes them. However, in privately-held companies, sole proprietorships, and partnerships, the creditors have a right to demand payments and auction the properties of the owners of these entities.

Key Differences Between Shareholders and Stakeholders

Since company executives are essentially employees of the shareholders, they’re not obligated to any social responsibilities unless shareholders decide they should be. A CEO is a stakeholder in the company that employs them, since they are affected by and have an interest in the actions of that company. Many CEOs of public companies are also shareholders, especially if stock options are a part of their compensation package.

While stakeholders may also succeed due to the company, they may not own stock. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy.

Key Differences between Shareholder and Stakeholder

Shareholders are always stakeholders, but stakeholders aren’t necessarily shareholders. So if you’re in the manufacturing business, for example, you have to consider the needs of neighboring communities — specifically, how your operations affect their livelihood and quality of life. In this guide, we’ll uncover those differences and then discuss what can be done to counter negative stakeholder influence on your projects. 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.

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