RESPONSIBILITY — MEANING, FEATURES AND FORMS

Responsibility is the obligation to perform tasks that have been delegated or given to you.

It is a subordinate's moral commitment to perform tasks delegated to him by his manager to the best of their ability.

Responsibility, according to Koontz and O'Donnell, is "the obligation of a subordinate to carry out the duties assigned to him."             

As long as the subordinate continues to carry out the tasks that have been given to him, he will be held responsible for the task.

Only when the task is finished does responsibility end.

Features Of Responsibility

1. Arises from superior to a subordinate relationship: Typically, responsibility arises from a superior-subordinate relationship.

If there is no superior-subordinate relationship, there will be no responsibility as well

2. It is upward sloping: The level of responsibility decreases as we move up the organizational hierarchy.

This is because every subordinate is responsible to a superior for the completion of the tasks that have been assigned to him

3. Duration: Responsibility exists for as long as the task is ongoing. When the task is completed, responsibility ends as well

4. Responsibility cannot be delegated: Responsibility is not something that can be delegated, but it can be shared.

For example, when a manager delegates task, he retains ultimate responsibility for the task, while he gives operating responsibility for the performance of the task to his subordinate.

5. It cannot be shared with inanimate objects: Only people, not machines or equipment, are capable of sharing responsibility.

This is because machines cannot be held responsible for completing work, even if the subordinate heavily depend on machines for the performance of his task.

6. It is the result of authority: According to fayol, "responsibility is the result of authority".

Responsibility occurs as a result of authority, and without authority, there will be no responsibility

Indeed, the authority should be balanced with responsibility. 

Indeed, authority and responsibility must be balanced.

When a person has more authority than responsibility, they are more prone to abuse it.

If someone has more responsibilities than authority, he may feel frustrated.

Forms of Responsibility

There are two types of responsibility in management: operating responsibility and ultimate responsibility

1. Operating responsibility: This is a person's obligation to complete tasks that have been delegated to him by the manager

Operating responsibility usually resides in the individual directly performing the task.

This ensures that the task is effectively carried out by the person who is directly responsible for it.

2. Ultimate responsibility: This is the final responsibility to see that those with operating responsibility perform the task.

Managers (delegators) have the ultimate responsibility of guiding and directing the execution of tasks delegated to subordinates (delegatees) with operating responsibility.

In other words, it is the ultimate responsibility of the managers to get work done through subordinates.

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