Balancing stakeholder needs
A Shell case study

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Page 2: Internal stakeholders

Internal stakeholders are seen by the wider community as reflecting Shell and how it works.


Shell's main internal stakeholders are its shareholders, employees and suppliers. Large businesses like Shell, Sainsbury's, Virgin, and M&S are owned by shareholders. Shareholders play a crucial part in the life of the business.  They provide a sizeable part of the capital required to set up and run the business. They take a reward from a share of the profits in the form of a dividend. This varies according to how many shares they own.

The shareholders choose a Board of Directors to represent them and provide a direction to the company. This is set out in a long-term plan which is called a strategy. The directors are responsible for the implementation of the strategy. Each year the directors must produce a report for shareholders. This report is presented each year at an Annual General Meeting of shareholders.


Another important internal stakeholder group is employees. Shell employs over 100,000 people worldwide. These include senior international managers specialising in finance, marketing, sales, oil and gas exploration and other aspects of the business. Other employees include geologists, market researchers, site engineers, oil platform workers, office administrators, business analysts and many more.

As stakeholders, employees are influenced by Shell but also affect how Shell operates. The employees' standard of work and commitment to health and safety and excellence is vital in order to keep Shell as a leader in the energy field. Mistakes can be costly in terms of reputation and the livelihood of other employees.

A priority at Shell is to respect people. It seeks to provide its staff with good and safe working conditions and competitive terms of employment. This has a positive influence on employees as it keeps them safe and motivated.


Suppliers are also internal stakeholders and are Shell's partners in the chain of production - for example, in bringing petrol from the oil well to the petrol pump. Shell has a number of core values that are central to everything it does. Shell's reputation depends on making sure that its business actions reflect these core values. Shell works with contractors and other partners in the supply chain who also must demonstrate these values. If they do not, Shell will not use them.

Shell | Balancing stakeholder needs