A business does not exist in isolation. A whole range of individuals and groups of people, as well as other firms and public organisations, have an interest in the survival and operation of a business. We call these groups stakeholders, as they have a stake, investment, or interest in the future of the company. More often than not, this stake is financial, although not always directly.
A stakeholder is anyone, who has an interest in the operation and survival of the firm or business, or is affected directly or indirectly by the operations, such as the local community. This interest is usually financial or has a financial aspect. Stakeholders can be separated into internal and external stakeholders. Internal stakeholders are groups like the owners, managers and employees, while external stakeholders may include the local community, suppliers to the firm and the government. Their interests may often conflict, particularly in the short-term