From ArticleWorld

Stakeholders were originally people that kept money or other valuables while ownership was being investigated. This normally happened in cases where two persons gambled on a predicted outcome to be determined in future and the stakeholders’ duty was to “keep the item staked” until that outcome was finally determined. But of late, the term has been used in broader senses.

Recent definitions

Today, “stakeholder” could mean:

  • People who influence a venture while not being directly involved in it.
  • Individuals who can be affected when an action is undertaken by particular organizations.
  • People banking on the success of the company.
  • Individuals or organizations that hold a vested stake or may be affected by the organizations’ approaches to various issues.
  • Participants that take part in efforts of community mobilization.

Stakeholders, could therefore be understood as "interest groups." The popular Stakeholder view theory states that, "The stakeholders in a corporation are the individuals and constituencies that contribute, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to its wealth-creating capacity and activities, and that are therefore its potential beneficiaries and/or risk bearers." Post, Preston, Sachs proposed this theory in the year 2002.

Common use

The term stakeholder has broadened its meaning in the recent decades. Its meaning could now refer to a person that has an interest in a an entity or a project. The term now includes anyone with an interest such as customers, vendors, employees as well as members of the community who may be affected by the presence of industrial factories that have an effect on surrounding environment and economy.