Duties vs Responsibilities: Difference and Comparison

Every individual has unquestionably stumbled upon the standard terms duty and responsibility, and many of these individuals might’ve even considered these two terms similar.

However, despite these words being considered identical, with their explanation and significance and being habitually used in plenty of sectors like branches of legislation, administration, knowledge, moral principles and so on, there are clear-cut differences between the vast terms.

Key Takeaways

  1. Duties are specific tasks required to fulfill a particular role or position; responsibilities encompass the broader obligations and expectations associated with a role.
  2. Duties are more concrete and measurable; responsibilities may be more abstract and include ethical or moral obligations.
  3. Both duties and responsibilities contribute to the successful performance of a job or function, but responsibilities provide a broader framework for understanding one’s role within an organization or society.

Duties vs Responsibilities

The difference between duty and responsibility is that when a person performs a duty, they fully commit to it and involve themself in the activity with no self-interests holding them back.

Duties vs Responsibilities

Duty refers to the ethical obligation an individual enforces on somebody, intending to perform something socially, lawfully, or executively considered correct.

Contrarily, responsibility is a task an individual takes upon with their own free will to complete the task successfully.

When the individual is responsible for something, he is held accountable for how the execution turns out.

Responsibility, however, is a term used for when an individual is solely responsible for opting for a task he can surely handle and the result of performing a chosen/given task.


What are Duties?

‘Duty’ derives from the Latin word ‘debere’, meaning commitment.

Duties refer to a moral obligation which an individual is bound to perform.w2fsdrcvegh

For example, A teacher has to teach her students moral skills as it is her duty.

Various sectors enjoy different types of duties that are required to be performed by an individual.

Social duties are a particular set of duties that are to be performed by every citizen of the country, or otherwise, they are bound to an acceptable/punishment.

For example: To abide by the rules of our country by paying taxes as and when required, respecting the country’s laws, keeping our country clean, and being a loyal citizen are some of the duties of every citizen of the country.

The government must perform specific duties to the country’s citizens in the government sector.

For example: To protect the rights of the country’s people and manage our country’s economic conditions is the government’s duty.

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In the business sector, duties are the tasks the employees are required to perform as given by their department heads.

For example: To obey a lawful order in terms of employment is a duty to be performed by an employee of a company.

In the educational sector, it is the responsibility of every professor/teacher to perform their duties to the students of the class.

For example: Grading the student’s performance and assigning daily tasks are some of the duties of the teachers.

In the banking sector, the banker is bound to perform a set of duties to the customers/account holders.

For example, The banker advises his clients and maintains records of financial transactions that are conducted regularly.


What are Responsibilities?

The word responsibility has been derived from the Latin word ‘responsabilis’.

Responsibility refers to a state of being responsible and the capacity to act on one’s will without any supervision.

For example, It is the responsibility of a mother to look after her child. The various types of responsibilities are:

Social responsibility refers to the responsibilities performed by every individual in society who is motivated to benefit the community in one way or the other.

For example: Giving blood donations and working at orphanages or animal shelters are some of the social responsibilities of an individual.

Corporate responsibility refers to the initiative of the corporate sector to contribute to achieving societal goals.

Some of the responsibilities of the corporate sector include a company giving some of its profits to benefit society or to charity or taking initiatives to help the environment either by planting trees or by reducing the wastage of resources.

Personal responsibility refers to the responsibilities performed by an individual capable and willing to achieve the responsibilities given to him.

An individual who has high levels of morality is considered to be a person who has a high level of personal responsibility.

For example, The responsibility to be honest, to be accountable for one’s doing, and to be responsible for resolving our differences with other people are some of the personal responsibilities of an individual.

Fiduciary responsibility is the social obligation of the organization to act per their clients.

The individuals who have fiduciary responsibilities are brokers, stockholders, bankers, etc.

Some of the fiduciary responsibilities are that brokers or bankers are given a high level of trust in managing the personal finances of their clients.

Fiscal responsibility is the responsibility of the government to use the taxes paid by the country’s citizens properly and make sound financial plans for the future by reducing debt.

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Hence the government must spend the funds of the economy wisely.


Main Differences Between Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Duties refer to the ethical obligations implied by someone to an individual who is required to execute the commitment given to him. For example, A citizen of a country must support the constitution. Responsibilities are the authorization of tasks granted to an individual inherent to his work. For example, every citizen of our country is responsible for protecting our monuments and keeping our surroundings clean.
  2. Duties are not obligatory to be followed by individuals. Responsibilities are required to be performed by individuals.
  3. Duties are assigned to individuals either because the law demands it or because of the individual’s role. Responsibilities are shouldered upon an individual who is dependent and reliable enough.
  4. Duties are considered to be mandatorily performed by individuals as it is the moral commitment of all citizens toward the country. Responsibility is a power that helps an individual act responsibly, which, in turn, helps boosts their self-esteem.
  5. Duties performed by the country’s citizens show that they are abiding by the rules and regulations of the country and do not just care about themselves. Responsibilities contribute to accountability which means being accountable for one’s actions and not the actions of others.
Difference Between Duties and Responsibilities
  1. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/1399042
  2. https://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000115

Last Updated : 23 April, 2024

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