Responsibility is the obligation to perform assigned activities. It is the self assumed commitment to handle a job to the best of one’s ability.

The source of responsibility lies within the individual.

A person who accepts a job agrees to carry out a series of duties or activities or to see that someone else carries them out.

The act of accepting the job means that the person is obligated to a superior (relationship management) to see that job activities are successfully completed.


An individual’s job activities within an organization are usually summarized in a formal statement called a job description – a list of specific activities that must be performed by whoever holds the position.

Unclear job descriptions Can confuse employees and may cause them to lose interest in their jobs. On the other hand, a clear job description can help employees to become successful by focusing their efforts on  the issues that are important for their position.

When properly designed, job descriptions communicate job content to employees, establish performance levels that employees must maintain, and act as a guide that employees should follow to help the organization reach its objectives.

Job activities are delegated by management to enhance the accomplishment of  management system objectives.

Management analyzes its objectives and assigns specific duties that will lead to reaching those objectives. A sound organizing strategy delineates specific job activities for every individual in the organization.

The following 3 areas are related to responsibility:

  1. Dividing Job Activities
  2. Clarifying Job activities of managers
  3. Being Responsible


One person cannot be responsible for performing all of the activities that take place within an organization. Since so many people work in a given management system, organizing necessarily involves dividing job activities among a no. of individuals.

Some method of distributing these job activities is essential.


The functional similarity method is the most basic method of dividing job activities.

Management should take 4 basic interrelated steps to divide job activities in the following sequence:

  1. Examine management system objectives.
  2. Designate Appropriate activities that must be performed to reach those objectives.
  3. Design specific jobs by grouping similar activities.
  4. Make specific individuals responsible for performing those jobs.



3 additional guides can be used to supplement the functional similarity method.

  1. Overlapping Responsibility should be avoided when making job activity divisions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Overlapping responsibility refer to a situation in which more than one individual is responsible for the same activity.                                                                                                                                                                                           Generally speaking, only one person should be responsible for completing one activity.                                                                                    When 2 or more employees are unclear about who should do a job because of overlapping responsibility, it usually leads to conflict and poor working relationships. Often the Job does not get done because each employee assumes the other will do it.                                                                       
  2. RESPONSIBILITY GAP:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A responsibility gap exists when certain tasks are not included in the responsibility area of an individual organization member. This results in a situation in which nobody within the organization is obligated to perform certain necessary activities.                                                                                                                                       
  3. Management should avoid creating job activities for accomplishing tasks that do not enhance goal  attainment. Organization members should be obligated to perform only those activities that lead to goal attainment.