Whom does an organization serve ?


Whom should they serve ?


In other words why do they exist ?

In my view , leaving out esoteric things like society, planet, GOD and other fancy stuff it could be boiled down to four principal players

They are



I do not think this needs elaboration. I cannot fathom a business without customers. In a very convoluted sense they pay my bills.


This lot are a group of people who have invested their time and money in forming and growing the organization. They play a significant role in continually shaping the organization.


A special breed of people who act as a buffer between customers, shareholders and employees. In most cases they bear silently the misplaced brunt of other stakeholders.


The work horses. They are the artists who work tirelessly to make stuff happen.

So, my question boils down to

Is there a hierarchy in serving the stakeholders ?

Should there be a hierarchy ?

In my experience, there are two different kinds of hierarchy and I have spent significant time in both of them.

The ‘Customer Centric’ Hierarchy


In this the customers come first, followed by employees, followed by managers and then shareholders.

The ‘Shareholder Centric’ Hierarchy


In this the shareholders come first, followed by customers, followed by managers and then employees.

Which is better ?

Honestly, I do not have an answer and I feel the best answer is the classic retreat of ‘It Depends’.

However, I feel the Customer Centric works for small to medium sized organizations and the shareholder centric one works for medium to large size companies.

I also feel customer centric are more owner driven and shareholder centric are driven by professionals at the helm.

What do you think ?

Does your workplace fall in the above model ?

Which would you prefer ?

Is there a different pyramid other than the above ?

Are there more stakeholders ?

Can there ever be a one size fits all model ?

Ponder over.

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)


Here is a link that talks about shareholder maximization.  It was just a coincidence that I found it and I am not taking a position.