I think I understand what Stakeholder means (=person/people or parties, companies etc. who are interested and may benefit financially from a project, for example), but I'd like to know if I can call that a stakeholder in this example:

I worked for an architectural office as a draftsman. At that time, there were companies (e.g. construction or real estate companies) who actually "owned" the project or the property, therefore the architectural office was developing the projects for them. They had been telling us what they want, evaluating the projects and being "the boss" regarding all the decision-making. After that, I started to work for these type of companies (e.g. the owner / administrator of an airport; the owner / constructor / future real estate of a condominium etc.), so now I was working "on the other side of the coin", "being the boss" and passing the instructions to the architectural offices.

Now the thing is: I am developing a cover letter in which I need to explain this situation. I wrote the following:

"While in COMPANY X I was working in an architecture office developing projects for stakeholders, in COMPANY Y I was part of the team in the company that owned the project (the main stakeholder)."

But I'm not sure if I can call the investor/construction/real estate company, "stakeholder" or if there would be a better term for that.

  • Although technically you do work for a stakeholder it will be almost impossible to use stakeholders and make the distinctions of your roles clear as stakeholders are not definitive. Stakeholders can be anyone involved with the project including the farmer who sold some off his fields so the airport could be built.
    – Brad
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 7:41
  • My understanding on stakeholders in work context is people who have the final say on the direction of the project, they don't necessarily need to have any direct financial gain/loss from the outcome of the project. Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 8:03
  • It maybe your understanding but is is mistaken. There is a division of primary and secondary stakeholders but that makes it more confusing in this situation.
    – Brad
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 8:19
  • @Jalene In general, the reason they have the final say is because they have the most to gain/lose from the outcome. So they have the final say because they're a stakeholder.
    – Barmar
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


This is more easily explained by using the Customer (Client)/Sub-contractor (supplier) relationship.

Originally you worked in an architecture office for a company who supplied.. blah blah blah to client companies on construction project such as .. blah blah blah. In the last 5 years I have been working for TOM BLOGGS IS US liaising with and overseeing the work of sub contract companies & other suppliers on construction project such as .. blah blah blah.

I would therefore suggest the following modification.

Whilst employed by COMPANY X I worked in an architecture office developing projects for numerous clients, including (name prestigous clients)

Whilst in my present employment with COMPANY Y, who is/was the main Contractor on various projects including (name prestigous projects) my duties included liaising with and overseeing the work of sub contract companies & other suppliers.

I personally would steer well clear of stakeholders, it is one of those modern buzz words and all sort of people have been dragged into it. Stakeholders on medium to large developments now include the Local Authority, the Local Community , Environmental groups and anyone else found standing on a street corner.

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