Authority vs. Responsibility

Main Difference

The main difference between authority and responsibility is that authority is the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience and responsibility is the capacity or fact of having a job to deal with something, or of having domination over someone.

Authority vs. Responsibility — Is There a Difference?
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Difference Between Authority and Responsibility

Authority vs. Responsibility

Authority is the legal right of a superior to command his subordinates. Responsibility is the obligation of a subordinate to perform the work assigned to him by his superior.

Authority vs. Responsibility

Authority can be authorized by a senior to his subordinate. The subordinate can not authorize responsibility.

Authority vs. Responsibility

Authority flows downward from superior to a subordinate. Responsibility moves in the upward control from subordinate to superior.

Authority vs. Responsibility

Authority is an entity or power to impose certain laws, rules, and expectations. Responsibility is an individual who is prone to follow and obey some specifically assigned rules to accomplish a task.

Authority vs. Responsibility

An authoritative power always admitted with the freedom of taking decisions and managing necessary controls, for the benefits of an organization. In responsibility, the actions taken by a typically responsible party have a moral, ethical, or rational foundation.

Authority vs. Responsibility

Authority stream downward, i.e., the intensity of authority is greatest at the top aligned and lowest at the low aligned. On the contrary, the responsibility stream upward, i.e., from bottom to top, the subordinate will be responsible for superior.

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Authority vs. Responsibility

The purpose of the authority is to make decisions and finish them — conversely, responsibility intention at executing duties assigned by the superior.

Authoritynoun

(uncountable) The power to enforce rules or give orders.

I have the authority to penalise the staff in my department, but not the authority to sack them.She lost all her respect and authority after turning up drunk to the meeting.Respect my authority!

Responsibilitynoun

The state of being responsible, accountable, or answerable.

Responsibility is a heavy burden.

Authoritynoun

(used in singular or plural form) Persons in command; specifically, government.

Responsibilitynoun

A duty, obligation or liability for which someone is held accountable.

Why didn't you clean the house? That was your responsibility!The responsibility of the great states is to serve and not to dominate the world - Harry S. Truman

Authoritynoun

(countable) A person accepted as a source of reliable information on a subject.

the world's foremost authority on orangutans
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Responsibilitynoun

(military) The obligation to carry forward an assigned task to a successful conclusion. With responsibility goes authority to direct and take the necessary action to ensure success.

Authoritynoun

Government-owned agency which runs a revenue-generating activity.

New York Port Authority

Responsibilitynoun

(military) The obligation for the proper custody, care, and safekeeping of property or funds entrusted to the possession or supervision of an individual.

Authoritynoun

the power or right to give orders or make decisions;

he has the authority to issue warrantsdeputies are given authorization to make arrests

Responsibilitynoun

the social force that binds you to your obligations and the courses of action demanded by that force;

we must instill a sense of duty in our childrenevery right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty

Authoritynoun

(usually plural) persons who exercise (administrative) control over others;

the authorities have issued a curfew

Responsibilitynoun

the proper sphere or extent of your activities;

it was his province to take care of himself

Authoritynoun

an expert whose views are taken as definitive;

he is an authority on corporate law

Responsibilitynoun

a form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one's conduct;

he holds a position of great responsibility

Authoritynoun

freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities;

his assurance in his superiority did not make him popularafter that failure he lost his confidenceshe spoke with authority

Authoritynoun

an administrative unit of government;

the Central Intelligence Agencythe Census BureauOffice of Management and BudgetTennessee Valley Authority

Authoritynoun

official permission or approval;

authority for the program was renewed several times

Authoritynoun

an authoritative written work;

this book is the final authority on the life of Milton

Comparison Chart

AuthorityResponsibility
Authority is the power or right to grant orders, make decisions, and enforce duty.Responsibility is the case or fact of having a duty to deal with something, or of having domination over someone.
Functions
Here, orders and commands play an imperative role.Here, duties and obedience play an imperative role.
Requires
Ability to give orders.Ability to follow orders.
Flow
Its flow is downward.Its flow is upward.
Duration
Go on for a long period.Ends, as soon as the task is adapted.
Basically
It is power.It is a duty.
Delegation
It can be a delegate to others.It cannot be a delegate.
Results From
Formal position in an organizationSuperior-subordinate relationship
Objective
To make decisions and implement them.To execute duties, assigned by superior.

Authority vs. Responsibility

Authority is the right of a preferable to give orders and directions to his subordinates to get things done. Responsibility means the duties authorized to a person at the time of delegation of authority. Authority can be designated, but responsibility cannot be designated. The term ‘authority’ stands for aptitude or rights authorized to an individual to make decisions, whereas ‘responsibility’ is a contract to maintain and manage the assigned authority. Authority normally arises because of the position of the boss in the organization. Responsibility arises out of superior-subordinate relationship whereby the subordinate agrees to perform such duties as are assigned to him.

What is Authority?

Authority is the lawful right to give the command, order or instruction and compel the subordinates to do a certain act. The legal and academic right of the manager or supervisor or any of the top level executives, of the organization to command juniors, give them orders, instructions and directions, and access obedience. The manager is designated to make decisions, concerning performance or non-performance of a task in a particular manner, to accomplish organizational objectives. It composes of some permissions and the right to act for the organization in a particular area. Authority is the capacity of a person or an institution to conduct a certain lifestyle for another person or a group. Authority is known as one of the bases of society and stands across cooperation. Maintaining lifestyle patterns as a result of authority is called obedience and authority as a concept includes most leadership cases. Authority derived by the position of a particular in the organization and the strength of authority is superlative at the top level and decreases as we go down the corporate ranking. Therefore, it streams from top to bottom, giving authority to superior over the subordinate.

Although authority usually described as a human, there is also frequent mention of divine authority. An assured community power makes authority. This power might be materialistic or fictitious. The power remains because of the possible use of sanction. One cannot employ a remarkable post in an organization if he does not have any authority. It is the authority; that analyzes one position from that of another and vests the power to the anxious individual, to order his subordinates and obtain necessary compliance. Authority is the right to workout power, which can be formalized by a state and exercised by way of judges, appointed executives of government, or the ecclesiastical or priestly appointed representatives of a God or other deities. There are two forms of authority

  • Official Authority: The authority which allows the manager, power to command his subordinates, by his designation in the organization.
  • Personal Authority: It expresses the ability by which a person influences the behavior of other persons in an organization.

What is Responsibility?

Responsibility is the task assign by managers to subordinates. It means moral promise 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 commitment 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. A responsibility is something you’re required to do as an upstanding member of a community. It is the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force. A duty or commitment to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one’s promise or circumstances) that one must fulfill, and which has a consequent penalty for failure. Responsibility is the contract of an individual, whether a director or any other employee of the organization to carry out the task or duty designate to him by the senior. The one who accepts the task retained responsibility for their performance, i.e., when an employee takes the responsibility of action, at the same time, he becomes responsible for its consequences too. There are two forms of responsibility

  • Operating Responsibility: Operating responsibility is the obligation of a person to perform the assigned tasks.
  • Ultimate Responsibility: Ultimate responsibility is the final obligation of the director who ensures that the task is done efficiently by the employees.
Conclusion

A point to bethink in associate with authority and responsibility is that while assigning assured responsibility to an employee, the obligatory amount of authority should also be converse on him so that he/she can be able to operate it. Hence, the charge of authority can only be effective when its contests with the assigned responsibility, i.e., if the authority authorized to a person is greater than the responsibility, it results in the misuse of authority. Besides, if the responsibility assigned is larger than the authority, then also the tasks will not be achieved properly due to the lack of necessary authority, thus making it ineffective. So, a balance should maintain between authority and responsibility.