A management term, a stakeholder is any entity (individual, group, or organization) that can affect or be affected by, or that can have a direct or indirect interest (stake) in, an organization's actions, objectives, resources, outputs, and policies. Researchers argue that this definition of the stakeholder should also include the latent or potential relationship with the firm, to include groups and organizations that may be affected by the firm's activities without necessarily interacting with the firm on a social level, as well as stakeholders that may affect the firm's activities without having a direct relationship with the firm.

In 1932, Edwin Dodd cited General Electric's first use of the term stakeholder to identify employees, customers, and the general public as key constituent groups. R. Edward Freeman, ...

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