April 30th, 2013
Dealing with business, stakeholders are normally high ranking executives who invest in a company. The actions of a stakeholder generally affects the decisions made within that company. They don’t have to be equity shareholders in order to be a stakeholder, though often they become one in the same. Most businesses take different approaches to stakeholders. The branch of a stakeholder reaches far and wide, both within and beyond the company’s staff. They can be employees which can benefit from a company’s success, gaining incentives on successful products. Business partners can also be stakeholders given that they rely on the success of supply chain continuity. The role of a stakeholder differs depending on the business and company invested. This is due to the rules and responsibilities within a company’s foundation. Taking Microsoft for example, Microsoft uses their stakeholders in a variety of ways.
According to "Microsoft Corporate Citizenship" (2012),
Because we appreciate the importance of listening to and talking with those who are affected by our decisions, we actively seek out input and engagement with a broad range of stakeholders and direct dialogue with investors, NGOs, and issue-advocacy organizations.
Microsoft Citizenship work is also informed by engagement with thousands of stakeholders around the world, ranging from human rights experts to parents concerned about the online safety of their children. In working to conduct our business with integrity, we engage with a wide range of stakeholders across all parts of our business operations. We also benefit from participating in a range of groups and initiatives that address corporate responsibility, including Business for Social Responsibility, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, Net Impact, and the World Economic Forum's partnering against Corruption Initiative.
In particular, our work is informed by and aligned with internationally recognized priorities and frameworks, such as the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. We seek to align our Citizenship reporting to the Global Reporting Initiative's G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (Stakeholder Engagement).