Theory In Communication



Have you considered the difference between accountability, responsibility, authority, and delegation? Barr and Dowsing, in their book: Leadership in Health Care, suggest the following meanings (2019, p.248-249):

  • Accountability means being able to explain and justify actions or non-actions for a responsibility given to you; this is seen as an important part of a quality system.

  • Responsibility involves an obligation to perform certain duties or make certain decisions, and having to accept any reprimand from the manager for unsatisfactory performance.

  • Authority is the right to act or make decisions that legitimizes the exercise of power within an organization.

  • Delegation means the conferring of a special authority from a higher authority and involves a two-part responsibility; the one to whom authority is delegated becomes responsible to the superior for doing the job, but the superior remains responsible for getting the job done.


Barr, J. & Dowsing, L. (2019) Theory of Communication In Leadership in Healthcare, Chapter 12 (pp 229-254) SAGE Publications, London.


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