That’s obvious! They are Negative Project Stakeholders.
Many PMP books and forum explain it otherwise. They assert, according to PMBOK Guide, Competitors are not Project Stakeholders.
Well! None of the answers is entirely correct. PMBOK Guide does not say anything about the Competitors as Project Stakeholders. Let me explain.
Since this is a Project Management blog, I am referring to “Project Stakeholders” and not about “Organizational Stakeholders”. However, Competitors are Organizational Competitors.
In my opinion, generalizing competitors “as Project Stakeholders” or “not as Project Stakeholders” is extremely bad. Every project is unique so “Project Stakeholder identification & analysis” should also be unique.
Project Stakeholders could be Positive or Negative or Neutral i.e. their affect is construed as Positive or Negative or Neutral. The influence and impact of a Project Stakeholder may change during the course of the project.
Going by the definition of a Project Stakeholder, it would seem that Competitor is a Negative Project Stakeholder. However we are talking about Project Stakeholders i.e. we are talking about Projects that have already started and not about Projects which are under bidding.
A Competitor may or may not be a Stakeholder for a Project that has already started. It entirely depends upon the nature of the Project. Let me provide few examples.