After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of Responsibility 2. Concept of Responsibility 3. Forms.

Meaning of Responsibility:

Responsibility is the task entrusted by managers to subordinates. It means moral commitment to do the work assigned. A person who performs some work has the responsibility to do it. It is the obligation to carry out the assigned task. It is the duty or task that a person is assigned to accomplish. “Responsibility is the obligation of an individual to carry out assigned activities to the best of his or her ability”.

It is “the obligation to carry out duties and achieve goals related to a position.” The responsibility ends when the person has accomplished the assigned task. If a person is responsible for the assigned task, he will be committed to perform it effectively.

Responsibility, therefore, must be fixed. It develops the skill, competence, initiative and ability of a person to his fullest. “For any given period, an individual will accomplish most when responsibility for the completion of a definite task is fixed on that individual.”

Concept of Responsibility:


The following points help to understand the concept of responsibility:

1. It is the obligation of a person to perform the assigned task.

2. It cannot be delegated. Even where a superior delegates authority to perform certain tasks, he remains responsible to his superiors for those tasks.

3. It must be commensurate with authority. Lack of parity between authority and responsibility will not achieve the desired results.


4. It flows from bottom to top. Every subordinate is responsible to his superior for completion of assigned tasks.

5. It can be qualitative or quantitative in nature. Preferably, responsibility should be fixed in quantitative terms as it helps to frame standards of performance against which performance can be measured.

Forms of Responsibility:

Responsibility can take two forms:

1. Operating Responsibility, and 


2. Ultimate Responsibility.

Operating responsibility is the obligation of a person to perform the assigned tasks. Ultimate responsibility is the final obligation of the manager who ensures that the task is done efficiently by the employees. Ultimate responsibility is the final responsibility of the manager who gets the work done through employees and operating responsibility is the responsibility or obligation of the person who actually does the work. A manager (ultimate responsibility) gets the work done through his employees (operating responsibility).