Stakeholder: an individual or organization affected by a company’s actions.
All stakeholders hold autonomous value, independent of a business's economic existence.
As opposed to the idea that a business is first an economic entity that operates in society and so acquires broader responsibilities, the idea here is that a business is fundamentally a social and ethical operation, and economic activity is only one facet of it's existence.
Shareholder value is different in kind from other stakeholder value: shareholder interests are valued differently and are also superior to the interests of other stakeholders
The collective bottom line: the summed affect of a company’s actions on all stakeholders.
The reversal of marketplace ethics: instead of starting with a business and looking out into the world to see what obligations exist, stakeholder theory starts in the world. It recognizes those individuals and groups who will be affected by - or affect - the company’s actions and asks: what are their legitimate claims on the business? What rights do they have with respect to the company’s actions? What kind of responsibilities and obligations can they justifiably impose on the business?
Proponents of marketplace ethics recognize no extra-economic ethical responsibilities (all ethical responsibilities include consideration of bottom-line affects). Proponents of stakeholder theory and other social business ethics do recognize extra-economic responsibilities: they begin with that recognition: a company is part of society before it's part of economics.
In actual practice, stakeholder theory in its soft form may be indistinguishable from marketplace theories, especially if economic success is judged as the best way for a business to contribute to broad social welfare.