Balancing stakeholder needs
A Shell case study

Page 1: Introduction

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A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in what a business does or an influence upon the business. Large organisations have many different stakeholder groups. Some are internal to the business, like employees. Others are external as they are outside of the business, like government. It is important to identify and balance the needs and expectations of these groups and to act responsibly...
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Page 2: Internal stakeholders

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Internal stakeholders are seen by the wider community as reflecting Shell and how it works. Shareholders 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...
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Page 3: External stakeholders - customers and communities

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External stakeholders are not part of the business but have a keen interest in what it does and may influence Shell's decision-making. Shell is committed to satisfying the needs of its external stakeholders. Customers Without customers a business would not exist. One of Shell's major objectives therefore is: 'To win and maintain customers by developing and providing products and services which...
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Page 4: External stakeholders - interest groups

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Shell needs to work with a range of interest groups. These are decision makers and opinion formers. People and organisations in positions of influence make decisions and form opinions that can affect Shell. These include academics, government, media, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), business leaders and the financial community. They interact with Shell in different ways: Governments...
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Page 5: Shareholders and resolving conflicts

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The start of the case study focused on the importance of shareholders. Shell's main shareholders consist of large institutional stockholders, employees and the general public. Shell believes that it has a key responsibility to protect shareholders' investment and provide a long-term return competitive with those of other leading companies in the industry. Shell's profits have then been...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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It is not easy to balance the needs of stakeholders. In order to best achieve this balance Shell recognises five areas of responsibility: to shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and society. Ongoing communication and dialogue with all of these groups is essential. In this way it is possible to take account of everyone”s needs and expectations in making decisions for today and the...
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