Difference Between Authority And Responsibility

Difference Between Authority VS Responsibility

To run an organization, many people work there. The people have different ranks and positions. Some people like the owner of the company, CEO, or other seniors have the power to make decisions, give orders to their juniors, and enforce rules.  They have the authority to give instructions, direction, and order, and access the obedience of their subordinates.

While some subordinates have to follow their orders and fulfill their duty. They carry out the target or work assigned to them by their boss or other seniors. This is called responsibility.


An authority is a right or power a person has because of his role, job, or designation.

Types of authority

Two types of authority are as under:

Official authority

The authority that makes a senior powerful to give orders to his subordinates is called official authority.

Personal authority

It indicates the ability to get the right to speak or interfere in someone’s life. In this type, your authority is administered by others.


Responsibility is an obligation or a duty that an employee or person has to fulfill in order to accomplish the given task actively.

Responsibility and authority as a character trait

Employees of an organization have different levels of leadership abilities and innate initiative that vary from person to person.

If a person has these qualities in his daily work, he can create his own authority. He can surely complete his tasks properly in a given time. These types of persons ask before they are told something. They suggest, discuss the solutions to problems the company faces. They think through the possible scenarios and points of view.

On the contrary, some people don’t have these qualities and traits. They are not capable to make the right decision at the right time. They can’t lead people. so, they become juniors, subordinates who follow the instructions or orders of their seniors.

But it doesn’t mean that these people have no quality at all.  They know how to follow their seniors and work efficiently. They have a big and core role to make the organization or company prosperous.

Difference Between Authority VS Responsibility

Following are the differences between these two terms and now lets see the difference Between Authority VS Responsibility in a table(tabular form).



Authority is power. Responsibility is the duty.
The authority is the legal right that is given to a particular person. The responsibility is the consequence of authority.
It can be assigned to others. It can’t be assigned to others.
In authority, the flow is downward from the upper level to the lower level. In responsibility, the flow is upward from the lower level to the upper level.
Authority needs the potential to give orders. Responsibility needs the potential to follow orders.
Authority remains for the long term. The responsibility ends as the work is completed.
The goals of the authority are to govern, enforce rules, make decisions and employ them efficiently. The main goal of the responsibility is to fulfill the duties actively assigned by the authoritative persons.


In a nutshell, we can say authority and responsibility are sides by side. Both are different but remain side by side.  One is the power to give order and the other is a duty to follow and obey the order. Authority comes with responsibility. An authoritative person who takes no responsibility can never achieve his targets. So, it is crucial to make a balance between the two.


In a profit center, the manager has responsibility and authority for making decisions that affect
(A). revenues and costs but not profits.
(B). revenues and profits but not costs.
(C). Costs and profits but not revenues.
(D). revenues and costs and, thus, profits.
Answer: D
The ultimate responsibility and authority of running a hotel rests with
A. General manager
B. waiter
C. Executive committee
D. Front office manager
Answer: A

Leadership MCQs

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