EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life


A stakeholder is an individual, group of persons or organisation that can affect or is affected by the decisions of another organisation. This definition also includes interest groups related to the organisation. A stakeholder’s relationship with the focal organisation is generally determined by three main attributes: the power to influence the organisation; a legitimate relationship with the organisation; and an urgent claim on the organisation.

Depending on these attributes, some stakeholders are more significant than others, hence the distinction of primary stakeholders (necessary to ensure the activity of the organisation) and secondary stakeholders (those who do not participate directly in the organisation’s activities). Stakeholders in industrial relations vary, depending on the level of negotiation and the sector. Nevertheless, they generally consist of one or other of the following: trade unions, employer organisations, work councils, employees, companies, managers, public authorities, professional associations, trade associations, shareholders, suppliers, consumers and public services beneficiaries.

See also: collective bargaining corporate governance employer organisations trade unions

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