This major international handbook provides a complete review and guide to past and present knowledge in this essential field of inquiry. Assembling an outstanding team of scholars from around the world, it comprehensively explores the current state of the art in academic thinking and the current structures and processes for the administration of public policy following this period of rapid transformation and change.
Chapter 45: On Acting Responsibly in a Disorderly World: Individual Ethics and Administrative Responsibility
On Acting Responsibly in a Disorderly World: Individual Ethics and Administrative Responsibility
Although the words ‘accountability’ and ‘responsibility’ mean similar things and are often used as synonyms, students of public administration have long distinguished between them. Accountability is used to refer to systems of external controls on individual behavior, which may be formal or informal. Responsibility, on the other hand, refers to the internal controls on behavior that are exerted by an individual person's beliefs and feelings. In common parlance, ‘responsibility’ has various shades of meaning. It can indicate the capacity to cause something — which Harmon (1995) terms agency: ‘Jones was responsible for our victory over Collingwood.’ It can mean a task assignment ...