Responsibility is a duty to act and to answer for the results of your actions. This has a relationship to power, position and ability whereby you are responsible for the things that you can control. The following are illustrative examples.
Personal ResponsibilityThe responsibility to do positive things with your abilities, talents and resources.
AgencyAgency is your ability to influence what happens to you. Individuals with a strong sense of agency are more likely to take responsibility for their successes and failures as opposed to blaming external factors such as systems, circumstances, bad luck or other people. An individual who completely and truly lacks agency is not responsible for themselves. For example, a very young child has no agency.
Moral ResponsibilityThe duty to do good and to do no harm. For example, the responsibility of the strong to help the weak.
Legal ObligationResponsibilities that are dictated by and enforced by a state. For example, a responsibility to take care not to hit pedestrians when driving a bicycle.
Contractual ObligationsResponsibilities that are agree to by parties to a legal contract. For example, the responsibilities of business partners may be specified in a contract.
NormsNorms are responsibilities that are expected in a culture without being enforced by written rules. This respects people's intelligence and allows for some flexibility.
Social RoleResponsibilities based on your position in a social system. For example, the responsibilities of parents, children and spouses.
ProfessionThe responsibilities of your profession such as an auditor who has a duty to report serious financial irregularities to authorities.
RoleThe responsibilities of your job such as a construction site manager who has a duty to prioritize safety.
CommitmentsResponsibilities are often based on your agreement. For example, a construction site manager who commits to meeting a budget for a particular project or task.In some cases, you still have responsibilities even if you don't make a commitment. For example, you may reasonably expect that a ski hill will take steps to ensure your safety even if they state in a legal notice they are not responsible for anything that happens to you on their property.
A responsibility not to harm people or planet on the path to your goals.
Risk ManagementIt is often viewed as a responsibility both at the personal and organizational level to take reasonable steps to manage risk.Extended producer responsibility is the idea that producers of goods and services are responsible for the end-to-end impacts of their products such as a fast food restaurant that is responsible when their packaging end up floating in the ocean.
AccountabilityAccountability is the principle that you still have to answer for results if you delegate or outsource a responsibly. For example, a firm that outsources manufacturing is still responsible for partners that mistreat people or damage the environment. In other words, you can't avoid responsibility by having a third party do something irresponsible for you.
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