Some key information and advice on how to tackle the 3rd bullet point in the AQA Research brief. 
In order to consider the impact of e-commerce on different stakeholder groups students first need to have a basic understanding of: 

  • the different stakeholders groups involved in business and, more importantly…
  • the needs / expectations / objectives of these various stakeholders groups.

What are Stakeholders?
Stakeholders are any individual or group of individuals who affect or are affected by a business’s activities.  They can be divided into two categories: 

  • Internal stakeholders – individuals or groups of individuals who are directly involved in running the business eg owners / shareholders, directors, managers, employees. 
  • External stakeholders – individuals or groups of individuals who are not directly involved in running the business but still have an interest in, and can influence its activities eg customers and consumers, suppliers, competitors, lenders, central and local government bodies, local residents, trade unions and other pressure groups such as animal rights activists, and environmentalists such as Greenpeace.  For businesses in rented property, external stakeholders would also include owners of that property ie landlords.  

What are the Needs / Expectations / Objectives of Stakeholders? 
Owners: Maximisation of wealth, profits, growth, reputation.
Shareholders: Sound return on investment: regular, secure, high dividends; capital gain on shares; a say in the business.
Directors: Job security, status, personal power, high rewards, organisational profitability and growth, lack of interference in decision making from owners.
Managers: Job security, high rewards, organisational profitability and growth.
Employees (Other than Managers): High / fair pay, interesting work, job security, training, safe working environment / sound working conditions, fair treatment, opportunities for promotion, a say in decisions which affect them.
Customers and consumers: Clear, accurate product / service information, fair prices / value for money, quality product ie fit for purpose, timely and accurate delivery of orders placed, high standards of customer service, an interest free period of credit (especially important for business customers), ethical business practices.
Suppliers: Secure, regular, profitable contracts; timely payment; good working relationships / fair terms of trade; organisational growth.
Landlords: Property looked after, well maintained, prompt payment of rent.
Lenders: Prompt payment of interest, security, (they consider collateral, profitability, liquidity, gearing, cash flow).
Local community: Minimum noise, congestion, pollution; local employment; investment in local events.
Government / Local Authority: Compliance with legislation, payment of taxes, contribution to the economy including job creation.
Trade Unions: Protection and advancement of the interests of members: good rates of pay, working conditions, job security. 
Other Pressure Groups: Protection of wildlife, the environment (eg Greenpeace) and human rights (eg Amnesty International).
After reviewing the above, students will be in a better position to consider How e-commerce might impact on stakeholder groups by considering the following: 
How might e-commerce help or hinder the achievement of different stakeholder groups’ needs / expectations / objectives? 
We will be including information and research on the above within our Complete Companion for use with the theme, which is due to be published by the 30th November and can be pre-ordered now.  In the meantime, look out for further advice and tips on how to approach the theme.
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