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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Responsibility must not be confused with accountability.

    Responsibility is a term we all are aware of, but are we aware of its real meaning? Most of us confuse responsibility with accountability, which to an extent is correct, but not totally true.

    Responsibility is you ability to respond. The better and mature your response to a circumstance, incident or activity, the more responsible your are. If we notice the people who are at higher position in an organisation have more responsibility not just because they have more experience or skill but they also have a better response ability. There may be many people of same skillset or experience but only one person is chosen to handle the position.

    When we say responsibility we also feel that we are accountable, but it has to be understood in a deeper manner to understand the real meaning. For example, a person met with an accident on the road in front of me and if I stand there without doing anything will mean my response ability is very poor. I might not respond or react or do something in that situation fearing social stigma, extra effort, fear of police etc., but this is lack of response ability on my end. I am not accountable as someone else has hit the person but I am responsible to at least call for an ambulance, or myself take that person to nearby hospital or offer any help that I can at that moment.

    So, if we have a better response ability then we will be truly responsible. Being responsible is not about fixing a blame on to someone but to be able to respond maturely and wisely in any situation.

    What do members think of responsibility and accountability?
  • #714524
    The author is right. Although accountability and responsibility are used as synonyms, yet there is a difference between them. The nature of responsibility is legal, while the nature of accountability is ethical, so the responsibility is formal, while the accountability is informal. Responsibility is the state of being a duty, which is defined as the obligation to perform or carry out the assigned task, whatever it takes to complete the task. Responsibility is a situation in which a person is expected to take ownership of one's actions or decisions. The term responsibility describes a person or group who is fully in charge of something and will ensure that the work is done properly, taking its actions towards the higher of the subordinate. Whereas accountability is towards actions. In this sense, accountability is the obligation to do the delegated work and responsibility is part of the delegation ie responsibility for the result of the delegated work.
    Swati Sharma

    Keep your Face to the SunShine

  • #714548
    The meaning of responsibility as per the dictionary is ' something that it is your job or duty to deal with'. A parent is responsible for bringing up his/her children. The same dictionary defines accountability as the fact of being responsible for what you do and able to give a satisfactory reason for it or the degree to which this happens. A cashier is accountable for the cash lost in transactions. He should give an explanation of how the loss happened. The two words have almost similar meaning with a little difference.
    Not reacting to the situation when there is an accident is carelessness and not having sympathy towards fellow human beings. It is our minimum courtesy to react in that situation in such a way that the damage to other person is minimum. Otherwise, we will be inhuman.

    always confident

  • #714551
    One who is responsible for certain things is accountable to carry responsibility. And one who is accountable is responsible.

    A doctor is accountable if he is not carrying his responsibility properly in a hospital. Doctors role is to treat patients if he is reluctant, he is responsible and accountable to the authorities for not carrying his responsibility. Treating patients is the responsibility of a doctor if he doesn't do it he is accountable for it.

    The same doctor walking on a road saw an injured person in a pool of blood provides first aid to the injured is only his social responsibility but if the doctor doesn't treat this patient he will not be held accountable. A doctor is responsible to treat patients in a hospital and a teacher is responsible for teaching students in school.

    Anything doctors and teachers do outside these institutions is social responsibility, not responding and they won't be accountable for not teaching or treating in the home. A teacher is bound to teach students in schools. He is responsible as well accountable if he is not carrying his responsibility of teaching students.

    Anything obligatory to do for a person is the responsibility and he is accountable for it before the concerned authority. When you do something that is not your duty but you still do it on humanitarian grounds, it is social responsibility.

  • #714573
    I agree that responsibility and accountability are often used interchangeably, but actually have separate meanings.
    A responsibility can be understood in a simple way that it is an assigned duty which is to be performed by a person or multiple people as a team to complete a task and each of them has a specific role and well defined responsibilities.
    All companies depend on employees to fulfill their designated responsibilities and Completing tasks correctly and on-time keeps a business operating smoothly. Responsibilities dictate an employee's basic daily duties, which they are expected to perform with the best of their ability.

    Accountability is taking ownership of a responsibility or it's related to outcome of their responsibility. Accountability is specific to one person depending on their skill set and role, and is the commitment to successfully complete tasks.

    There is one main difference between the two terms. A responsibility to complete a task can be shared among a group, but only one person is accountable for that task being completed or not being completed, and will have to answer for the outcome.

  • #714586
    What I feel that responsibility comes for the Individuals to take the work in right spirit, work with great dedication, prove productive and be profitable through their work and meaning. Whereas the accountability is the responsibility of those who work under them and stand as the guarantor for all the works and their results. For example each one of us are responsible for our work and we are questionable to higher authorities. Whereas the head of the state or the center is helped and worked through ministers and mistake if any and it is the accountability of the head that makes him responsible for any misdeeds.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #714587
    It depends on how we are using those words. Though the two words are used to mean almost the same thing, with the word accountability justification of any act is somehow included. In a company, every employee has her/his own responsibility to complete the task in time but the manager is accountable if it is not done within the stipulated time. Those in the higher rank will question the manager and ask her/him to justify why the task is not done or done in a different way. In this way, the two words signify two interrelated things.

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #714619
    Responsible persons do work with sincerity and concern. It is a great virtue in the sense that they take pains in handling the tasks and do their best in accomplishing them. It is god to be responsible. In a family if there is no one responsible for anything the family will soon be in shambles. People should be responsible for their work. No one else will come to do it. Everyone having the assigned responsibility is accountable for it and has to explain if he is not able to do it or shirked from his responsibility. People who are doing work in lieu of a remuneration are accountable for their work output and productivity.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

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