Stakeholders are those persons who hold a stake in the company; they include shareholders, banks, the local community, customers, employees, government - if the American definition of "anyone who may be affected by the actions of the corporation" is adopted, even competitors.
A candidate might wish to refine the question and write of "long term" profits and then argue, with Milton Friedman, that the objective of the company is to increase shareholder wealth.
Many will argue that the company has a duty to other stakeholders. Johnson and Johnson, for example, put the customer first, then the employees, and the shareholders last. Green issues may be mentioned.
Excellent A clear and concise explanation of the stakeholder concept and a well sustained argument for or against the maximising of profits.
Competent An informed account of the stakeholder concept and a reasoned argument for or against maximising profits.
Adequate A knowledge of what is meant by stakeholders and some reasons for or against maximising profits.
Weak A limited knowledge of what is meant by stakeholders and ill-connected comments for or against maximising profits.
Suppliers Suppliers, another important outside stakeholder group, contribute to the organization by providing reliable raw materials, component parts, or other services that allow the organization to reduce uncertainty in its technical or production operations, thus allowing for cost efficiencies. Suppliers therefore can have a direct effect on