Stakeholders as partners
A BT case study

Page 1: Introduction

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BT is the world’s oldest telecommunications company, with its origins in the Electric Telegraph Company in 1846. Today BT is one of the UK's largest companies. It employs around 75,000 people in the UK and is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services, serving the needs of customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the...
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Page 2: What is a stakeholder?

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A stakeholder in a business is any individual or group with an interest in the decisions made by that company. Some of BT's stakeholders are internal to the business, such as its employees. Some are external to the business, such as BT's customers. Ethical approach to business Enlightened companies like BT believe that engaging with stakeholders is part of an ethical approach to business. BT...
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Page 3: Internal stakeholders

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Internal stakeholders are individuals or groups that can be considered part of an organisation. Important internal stakeholders are shareholders and employees. Shareholders It is important not to confuse the terms stakeholder and shareholder. Shareholders buy shares in a company and, as such, are part-owners of the business. Shareholders do not get involved in the day-to-day decisions of a...
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Page 4: External stakeholders

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BT's main external stakeholders are the government and industry regulators, suppliers and partners, its customers and the community. Government and industry regulators BT must comply with rules and regulations set by the governments and industry regulators in the countries in which it operates. These stakeholders directly affect BT in several ways. They issue BT with licences to operate in the...
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Page 5: Stakeholder conflict

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Different groups of stakeholders can have conflicting interests. Here are four examples of potential conflicts involving BT stakeholders: As part of its Next Generation Access programme, the company needs to install new optical fibre cables to be able to provide super-fast broadband services across the country. This may be welcomed by customers, who will get a better service, but may cause...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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BT needs to take account of the needs of all its stakeholders. It must consider the impact and influence that each stakeholder group has on its business. By working with its stakeholders, in an open and transparent manner, BT can build trust and strengthen its partnerships. It can also further its environmental and sustainability agenda. Further details of BT's Learning and Skills...
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