Why is the owner of a business the most important stakeholder?   I am doing coursework on Cadbury's. Thank you very much as this is very helpful for me. Thank you!

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In most cases, a business owner holds the majority of the stocks, which means she or he has the ability to overrule minority stockholders.  As the majority stockholder, it is assumed the business owner incorporated the business mostly as a limited liability institution and invited other stockholders to invest.

The direction of the business will therefore be driven by the business owner, including the day-to-day running of the business, chairing of board meetings, developing and managing the strategic plan, the marketing plan, the budget, and steering the business to achieve the overall goals and objectives.   

All these plans will have been formulated at the incorporation of the business.  As the business expands and becomes successful, the business owner could give up some stocks.  For example, if at business incorporation the business owner held 75% stocks, she or he can give up 24% stocks and offer them to potential investors but still retain 51% and remain the majority stockholder.

Eventually, the business owner could choose to hand over management of the company to a neutral person, thereby stepping down as the Chief Executive Officer.  This allows the company now to grow well beyond the initial vision and of the business owner, which is often the best strategy in business growth.

When this happens, the business now acquires a life of its own with strong systems and structures that are not dependent on the business owner. 

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According to the Stanford Research Institute, a stakeholder of a business is a member of the "groups without whose support the organization would cease to exist." Clearly, then, the relationship between a stakeholder and the business that they support is mutually affecting. It is in the stakeholder's best interest that the business do well, and it is in the interest of the business to reward stakeholders in order to secure future support. Generally, stakeholders are split into three categories: a) Primary b) Secondary and c) Excluded. Primary stakeholders are usually members of the business itself, this being customers, employees, stockholders, and so on. Business owners would fall under this category. Next, there is secondary stakeholders. Secondary stakeholders are individuals who are external to the business. These are members who do not directly engage with the business but who are nonetheless affected by the business' actions. This includes indigenous communities, media groups, and the general public. Finally, there are excluded stakeholders, which refers to children and/or members of the public who are not affected or interested in the business' actions. A business owner would contrast greatly with an excluded stakeholder in relation to any given business since the relationship between a business and its stakeholders is mutually rewarding and mutually damaging. A business owner is the most important member of a business because a business owner is the individual who is most involved in their business, and since stakeholders are defined by their degree of involvement, a business owner is the most important member. 

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