What is a Stake? - meaning of 'stake'

What does it mean to have a stake in something? In stakeholder managemenment a stake is an interest in or a share in an undertaking. A stake can be interest in a decision on the other hand it could be a legal claim for example part or full ownership of a business.
A Stake is an interest in or a share in an undertaking (Bucholtz and Carroll, p.63).
What is a Stake? Meaning and definition of Stake
Stakeholders are people who hold a stake in a decision or undertaking. As Bucholtz and Carroll (2008) explain to understand the concept of a stakeholder it helps to know what a stake is, and what type of stake a stakeholder might have.

A stake can simply mean having an interest in a decision, for example "how will the road by pass affect me?" on the other hand it could be a legal claim for example a shareholder has a stake through their part or full ownership of a business.

Bucholtz and Carroll (2008) explain that between these two extremes a stake can also be a 'right'. A right can be a moral right for example an ethical principle or a feeling about fairness in a particular situation – "it is only fair to check with a neighbour before starting building work" or a legal right for example a right under law for employees to be treated equally regardless of gender, religion etc.

A few examples of stakes

An interest
  • Households under the flight path of a proposed runway
  • People living close to a construction site or proposed business
  • A Citizen's interest in a national issue, for example UK citizens' interest in EU negotiations.
A right
  • Moral right
    • Respectful treatment
    • A sense of fairness, for example 'it is only fair to keep the noise down after 11pm'
    • It is only fair for an employer to consider the impact of a change on their employees
    • In the UK there is a moral right for an author of a work to be attributed
  • Legal right
    • Maternity rights
    • Right to legal advice if arrested
    • Consumer rights when you buy goods and services
    • Rights under the Data Protection Act
A legal claim
  • A partner with legal rights to benefits or pensions
  • A right to trial
  • Employees rights to a safe workplace
  • Shareholders fiduciary rights

What is a Stake? References

Bucholtz, A. K. and Carroll, A. B. 2012. Business and Society , Ethics and Stakeholder Management. 8th edition. South-Western. Cengage Learning. Latest edition.

Gov.uk. 2016. Crime Justice and the Law. Your rights and the law. [online] Available at:https://www.gov.uk/browse/justice/rights [Accessed 10 February 2016].