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Organizational management is largely influenced by the opinions and perspectives of internal and external stakeholders. A stakeholder is any group, individual, or community that is impacted by the operations of the organization, and therefore must be granted a voice in how the organization functions. External stakeholders have no financial stake in the organization, but are indirectly influenced by the organization's operations.
Internal stakeholders are individuals or groups who are directly and/or financially involved in the operational process. This includes employees, owners, and managers. Each of these groups is potentially rewarded directly for the success of the firm.
Employees are primary internal stakeholders. Employees have significant financial and time investments in the organization, and play a defining role in the strategy, tactics, and operations the organization carries out. Well run organizations take into account employee opinions, concerns, and values in shaping the strategy, vision, and mission of the firm.
Managers play a substantial role in determining the strategy of the organization, and a significant voice in operational decisions. Managers are also accountable for the decisions made, and act as a point of contact between shareholders, the board of directors, and the organization itself.
Owners (who in publicly traded organizations can include shareholders) are the individuals who hold significant shares of the firm. Owners are liable for the impacts the organization has, and have a significant role in strategy. Owners often make substantial decisions regarding both internal and external stakeholders.