The main difference between accountability and responsibility is that the accountability emphasizes the sole ownership of the actions and decisions regarding the task whereas responsibility is often the duty assigned to you by someone in a higher authority.
A leader is someone who directs others to achieve the best out of a certain task. Therefore, a good leader should have leadership qualities such as accountability, responsibility, knowledge of the task, management abilities, etc. Being accountable and responsible for what you are assigned means you are being recognized and accepted to be able to complete that task. In addition, you are identified as suitable to be a good example and good guidance to those who are following your path. Accountability and responsibility are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings accordingly. Hence, it is a necessity for a leader to understand the difference between accountability and responsibility when achieving the best out of their assigned tasks in an organization, project etc.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Accountability
– Definition, Characteristics
2. What is Responsibility
– Definition, Characteristics
3. What is the Similarity Between Accountability and Responsibility
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Accountability and Responsibility
– Comparison of Key Differences
Accountability, Responsibility, Work, Tasks, Words
What is Accountability
Accountability is defined in the Cambridge dictionary as the “quality of being responsible for what you do and able to give a satisfactory reason for it or the degree to which this happens.”
Hence, accountability is entirely individual-oriented, and it can not be shared with someone else. Hence, being accountable means not only being responsible for a certain task but also being responsible to answer and prove your actions regarding that as well.
In brief, by being accountable, you are responsible or bear the sole ownership of your actions and decisions regarding something. Thus, rather than someone having authority over you assigns the duty of completing a certain task, being accountable emphasizes that you yourself try to complete that task, find the possible solutions to the problems it might have, making it a prime objective of you. As a result, someone who is accountable, take accountability for their role in the consequences.
Therefore, you bear the sole ownership of your decisions and actions taken in completing this task. Hence, accountability depicts a sort of an individual obligation rather than an assigned duty by someone else over you. You decide to accept the responsibility of it than someone else asking or assigning you the duty of accepting the responsibility of it.
As a result, you are responsible for providing answers to your actions as well as liable for your actions. Similarly, accountability also means blameworthy if something goes wrong. Hence, accountability also means the answerability for the consequence of the delegated task.
What is Responsibility
Responsibility can be defined as “the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.” or “something that it is your job or duty to deal with” or “have a duty to work for or help someone who is in a position of authority over you.”
Hence, in brief, responsibility highlights the sense of having a duty to complete the task. It is, therefore, something assigned to you, often by someone who has authority over you. Therefore, responsibility simply means “being in charge” or “being the leader of”. Thus, you are not liable for any changes that might happen in the process of completing a certain task. You are only carrying out the guidelines put upon you by the authority and is the person to see if these guidelines are properly carried out by the others as well.
Therefore, responsibility is more task-oriented. Thus, it is a state where you have the duty to do whatever it takes to complete the given task.
Similarity Between Accountability and Responsibility
- Both are essential in the progression and the success of tasks.
Difference Between Accountability and Responsibility
Accountability is a quality of being responsible for what you do and being able to give a satisfactory reason for it or the degree to which this happens. In contrast, responsibility means to have a duty to work for or help someone who is in a position of authority over you. This outlines the basic difference between accountability and responsibility.
Another difference between accountability and responsibility is that since accountability is something that comes within the individual’s need itself, most often you are more determined to complete the task by yourself while a responsibility can be shared and done since it is imposed upon you.
Liability of Actions
Furthermore, accountability is all about the liability of your actions. Therefore, you are blameworthy for mistakes whereas there is no liability in responsibility since you are merely doing what you are assigned to do.
Whereas accountability comes with the individual’s own acceptance of their obligation, responsibility is something assigned to you. This is another important difference between accountability and responsibility.
Moreover, accountability cannot be shared with another. On the other hand, responsibility can be shared with another.
Accountability and responsibility appear quite similar. As a result, a lot of people use these two words interchangeably. However, they do share distinctions, especially with regard to the nature of the obligation. Therefore, the main difference between accountability and responsibility is that that accountability emphasizes the sole ownership of the actions and decisions to the task whereas responsibility is often the duty assigned to you by someone in a higher authority. In addition, responsibility can be shared with another person whereas accountability can not.