Difference Between Accountability and Responsibility

Accountability vs Responsibility

Accountability and Responsibility are two words that are quite often confused due to the similarity between their meanings. Strictly speaking, these two words have to be understood differently. The word ‘accountability’ is generally used in the sense of ‘answerability’. On the other hand, the word ‘responsibility’ is used in the sense of ‘liability’ or ‘dependability’. This is the basic difference between the two words.

An employee shoulders accountability for the important work he is given to complete. He becomes answerable when he does not deliver the goods. He will be called and enquired too. Every employee of an organization carries accountability with him. On the other hand, it is the responsibility or the liability of each and every employee to contribute to the growth of the company or the organization.

In the same way, it is the responsibility of every citizen to contribute in one way or the other to the growth of the country. The responsibility of a father is to bring up his children. The son has the responsibility to look after his aged parents. The employer shoulders the responsibility to provide facilities to the employees.

Accountability leads to responsibility. A teacher is held accountable for the bad performance of the students in school. He has to answer why his students secured low marks. This kind of accountability brings in responsibility in the mind of the teacher. He considers himself liable to questioning by the management of the school, if he does not show responsibility.

Lack of responsibility paves the way for blunders and defeats. If a cricketer plays an irresponsible shot and gets out, then he becomes accountable for the defeat of the team in the hands of the opposition. These are the important differences between the two words, namely, accountability and responsibility.