Difference Between Primary Stakeholders and Secondary Stakeholders

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 02, 2023


Difference Between Primary Stakeholders and Secondary Stakeholders

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Stakeholders are the main success of an organization, just like other relationships; they work hard and maintain a healthy organization.

If you want to maintain a decent relationship with primary and secondary stakeholders, you first need to get clear on what primary and secondary stakeholders are.

Stakeholders play a significant role in project management and investment for the outcome. They are classified into primary stakeholders and secondary stakeholders according to their role in their involvement and how impactful they work. Project owners should understand the difference between these two stakeholders for better outcomes and better growth.

Primary stakeholders are groups of communities that directly invest in your organization. On the other hand, secondary stakeholders indirectly invest in an organization. If you get the clarity, then you will get to know the key stakeholders segments. You will be assured that your organization is getting your relevance.

Stakeholder management should fall under your plans, and you should review and communicate regularly. You will get clarification on who is the most relevant under your organization.

Types of Stakeholders:

  • Government agencies
  •  Community or Organization
  •  Other community-based organizations do not work profit to profit.
  •  Donors or other factors who work individually or in the community.

You have to consider present or past relationships that are relevant and include organizations according to your stakeholder preference but have not been approached.

Primary Stakeholder vs. Secondary Stakeholder

In a project, primary stakeholders play a main role, and that project will be the most impacted by a successful result or maybe sometimes unsuccessful. Primary stakeholders are the ones who lose or gain the most from a project.

For example, In a construction site, the primary stakeholders would be the owners, and they will occupy it, or if the building is a hospital, then doctors and patients can also be called primary stakeholders.

The secondary stakeholders are those who seek and have an interest in the outcome; they don't have that much value, either gaining or losing anything significant for the organization.

However, both the stakeholders have their project management process. In the end, it depends upon a project manager to fulfill the needs of the primary stakeholder. Nevertheless, there are significant differences for both stakeholders, and they both play a great role in project management. It's important to identify what both stakeholders need if you want a great outcome for your project. With an understanding of how to manage stakeholders, you may be able to succeed in project management.

Primary stakeholders are the decision-making authority, and they are constantly engaged in the outcome of the project, whereas secondary stakeholders have less decision-making as compared to primary stakeholders. They are not the main workers when it comes to decision-making.

Primary stakeholders directly engage in the significant project and influence the project, but secondary stakeholders indirectly influence the significant project and get affected by the outcome.

Both the stakeholders need to manage significantly and comfortably for the best outcome of a project; both the stakeholders' decisions are important, but primary stakeholders play an important role in an organization.

Difference Between Stakeholder and Secondary Stakeholder in Tabular form

Parameters of comparisonPrimary StakeholderSecondary Stakeholder
Objective1) To provide quality service2) Providing low cost in delivering services1) Complete and fast treatment.
2) delivering each component of service with information
Decision1) Logical reasoning
2) Alternate option in case a patient is not capable either financially or physically
1) Access in consultation with the organization
2) full knowledge of the health
Technology1) Document creation and sharing of different stakeholders
2) access to big data
3) Reduces the risk of hacking different records
4) Amplifying different expertise for the project
1) Home and remote  services are available
2) Enhancing the engagement among individuals of the community and organizations
Outcome1) Using emerging technology to integrate past and present knowledge for future outcome
2) Improving their relationship and working on a project for better growth of the organization
3) More interest in project outcome, whether it is a success or a failure
1) They influence the public, which affects the company or organization, ultimately affecting sales and customers. 
2) Less interest in project outcome no matter if it is a success or a failure.
MakingThey are completely related to the projectThey decide on a case-to-case basis
NeedsTheir needs are related to the organization, project, and project outcomeTheir needs are not at the forefront of the decision-making.

What is a Primary Stakeholder?

Primary stakeholders are the group of individuals or communities that work under monetary transactions for an organization, Which means they already have a financial investment for the organization's community. Primary stakeholders contain the following: Employees, suppliers, customers, investors, partners, banks, and lenders.

If they are individuals or in the form of an organization who earn a paycheck for working for your organization, they become your investment entity. Primary stakeholders work with organizations for future security; that is why investment in primary stakeholders is urgent, and their actions can reflect how efficiently an organization operates.

Primary stakeholder influences

Primary stakeholders are the main key to maintaining an organization's health. All organizations work hard to satisfy their primary stakeholder to work operationally and achieve their main objectives. This Happens because the primary stakeholders have the power to directly impact the activities that are going through in an organization. Stakeholders like employees, investors, customers, and others need to maintain their stake in the organization effectively.

Examples of Primary Stakeholders:

Primary Stakeholders contribute to other organizations' indifferent ways of daily operations and make different business decisions. The listed below are different examples of primary stakeholders:


Lenders usually act as primary stakeholders because they provide a main operation in maintaining businesses. Lenders provide loans to companies because they tend to receive a return on their investment.

It is important to have a positive relationship with lenders so that your finances work smoothly after looking into your financial status. Lenders decide to increase or decrease the number of loans they provide for organizations.


Businesses consider their customers and clients as their primary stakeholders because of their purchases and services, which is correlated with organizational success. What do customers want? Customers want to buy goods that are high quality and have low-cost value to fulfill their needs. Customers expect businesses to make high-quality goods at low prices to satisfy their needs.


Organizations do consider shareholders as their primary stakeholders because they are directly influenced by the company's financial status. Shareholders make businesses succeed so that they can receive a substantial rate in return for their initial investment. So. if a business experiences financial challenges and the value of its share decreases, then shareholders can encounter repercussions and vice versa.

What is a Secondary Stakeholder?

Secondary stakeholders are the type of individuals or groups that invest in an organization in a social transaction. Secondary Stakeholders are not directly involved in the financial actions of an organization.

Secondary Stakeholders include the following: Local communities, activist groups, competitors, trade unions, media groups, local government organizations, workforce commissions, and the general public. There are still so many secondary stakeholders in a given organization that they can be difficult to identify unless they actively vocalize concerns. Secondary Stakeholders do not have direct interests in the organization company; they still possess a fair amount in an organization's actions. Secondary Stakeholders directly relate to their social investment in an organization. They can directly influence an organization's reputation and have the opportunity to become the primary stakeholder.

Secondary Stakeholder Influences

Secondary Stakeholders possess a good amount of influence on organization dealings, and their power is situational. Overall, they are directly proportional to the organization; they are usually the most vocal. They work as an advocate or representatives for stakeholder groups who cannot vocalize their concerns for several reasons. They influence the public, which affects the company or organization, which ultimately leads to an effect on sales and customers.

Examples of Secondary Stakeholders:

Secondary Stakeholders are those who have eternal relationships with the company; listed Below are some examples of secondary stakeholders that may influence an organization:

Trade unions

These are groups of advocates who are for the rights of employees and service members in a specific profession. They treat their employees fairly and expect organizations to do the same and equitably for specific union guidelines. Trade unions have the power to control how long an employee can work per day, In a condition that the company must provide on how to compensate their employee. If any of the organizations do not follow these regulations properly, they can probably encounter criticism from trade unions.

Media groups

The Media group works as an advocate for the local public or constituents and other concerned citizens who may be consumers, clients, or employees of that particular organization. They serve the role of holding organizations accountable for working individuals of Primary Stakeholders and assist activist groups in messaging about particular issues. When media groups are involved in addressing the needs of other stakeholders. If media groups promote particular messaging about an organization, it may affect the organization's standing. 

Local government

Local governments are the stakeholders for different means; they are concerned with regulating organizational compliances and labor standards, and they offer other advocates for several other issues. Local governments are the powerful secondary stakeholders; they don't become that close with organizations to satisfy the needs and requests of governmental organizations. Local government affects an organization's reputation and also plays an important role in the organization's continued operations.

Main Differences Between Primary Stakeholders and Secondary Stakeholders in Points

  • Primary Stakeholders are those communities who have a direct interest in an organization whose impact can directly lead to either the success or failure of the organization, whereas Secondary stakeholders do not have a direct interest in the organization daily but get affected by the outcome differently.
  •  Primary Stakeholders share similar aims but do not have the reach. On the other hand, they share similar aims as well as organize in the same market as yours.
  •  Primary Stakeholders will find you if you don't find them, but secondary stakeholders can easily replace you with others if you drift away from the mission.
  •  Primary Stakeholders have an enormous lift in funding scope, while secondary stakeholder becomes the primary relationship if they learn more about work.
  •  Primary stakeholders want their employees to succeed and may choose to invest in your ideas and methods, although Secondary stakeholders can be excellent partners if they have specialization in an organization and share your values.
  •  Primary stakeholders are the decision-making authority, and they are constantly engaged in the outcome of the project, whereas secondary stakeholders have less decision-making as compared to primary stakeholders. They are not the main workers when it comes to decision-making.


Stakeholder management involves considering the different values and interests of stakeholders and working with them for a particular project to make sure that all the stakeholders, whoever are working in the organization, are comfortable at the end. 

To achieve a significant goal or outcome from the projects that have been created, good stakeholders are required, and what is even more important are good stakeholder practices.

Stakeholders are the effective way to manage all the participants present in a project; Stakeholders can work as contributors in a project either externally or internally.

The most important factor in stakeholder management is communication, where stakeholders have to manage all the communication processes for the organization to work effectively. On the other hand, managers have to spend around 99% of their time doing meetups and meetings, checking, updating, and replying to other organizations that are working with their company.

The stakeholder's roles are very dynamic and different. It can vary from project to project. It's the role of the manager to approach and signify the situation to ensure stakeholder management.

Stakeholders help the project management so they can address the concerns by which they can impact or can get impacted. Stakeholders manage communication, reduce tension, and increase the percentage of the outcome of a project.


  • https://www.tascosslibrary.org.au/how-to/identify-and-manage-primary-and-secondary-stakeholder
  • https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/primary-and-secondary-stakeholders
  • https://www.pmcolumn.com/primary-vs-secondary-stakeholders/


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"Difference Between Primary Stakeholders and Secondary Stakeholders." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-primary-stakeholders-and-secondary-stakeholders>.

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