Meaning of Responsibility:

Generally in the organisations, Managers have authority. Therefore, they are responsible for other people, money and resources. Thus, responsibility is defined as “the accountability for authority”. Accountability is the management philosophy whereby individuals are held accountable for how well they use their authority and live up to their responsibility of performing pre-determined activities.

“Responsibility” is used in many senses. It means an obligation, liability or activity or accountability. Koontz and O’ Donnell defined it as “the obligation of subordinate, to whom a superior has assigned a task, to perform thee service as required.” Thus responsibility is considered to be the “duty” to perform certain assigned tasks in a satisfactory manner.

Terry defined responsibility as “the obligation of an individual to carry out assigned activities to the best of his or her ability.”


Samuel C. Certo has listed four areas, which can be analysed to determine the degree of responsibility a manager possess.

Areas of Responsibility:

These areas are given below:

1. Behaviour with Subordinates:

A responsible manager knows how to handle his subordinates with respect and sternness. He takes charge of the work group, guides and assist as them, encourages them and rewards them and stays closely to the problems and activities.


2. Attitudes towards Upper Management:

The manager has a very sensitive task of keeping both the superiors and subordinates happy even when their goals are in conflict with each other. He must ensure that the central management’s expectations are met and that the organisational goals are achieved and must accept criticism and responsibility for mistakes.

3. Behaviour with other Groups:

Responsible managers are in inconsistent touch with managers of other departments within the division and build a rapport with them. They make sure that all activities of different units are well coordinated and that there is no gap between their areas and the areas of others.


4. Personal Attitudes and Values:

A responsible manager has a positive outlook on life, is mature and well balanced and exercises moral and ethical code of conduct. He is a mentor and protector of his subordinates’ rights and he puts the organisational goals ahead of his own. He is dedicated and committed and works for self-fulfillment rather than strictly materialistic rewards.

These qualities in a manager are highly valued by the top management and these traits are highly necessary to serve as role models for subordinates.

Importance of Responsibility:

1. It helps the person to carry out the function promptly and efficiently.


2. It helps to develop the accepter, assists in getting the work accomplished.

3. It helps the person to execute his or her best efforts and demonstrate competency and ability to do the work.

4. Fixed responsibility tends to develop initiative, resourcefulness and reliability,

5. It assists the managerial coordination of tasks within the organisation structure.


6. The areas where additional help or training appear necessary can be identified with a minimum of delay.