On the Notion of Responsibility in Organizations
Posted: 23 Feb 2006
We derive a natural definition of responsibility in a formal model where employees care for their career prospects: A superior holds a subordinate responsible for a task, when she announced her beliefs that this subordinate contributes most to this task. We show, that those announced beliefs lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy as the reputation of the responsible subordinate then is affected by the outcome of the task and he therefore has strong incentives to contribute to its success. There are equilibria where either a single agent or no agent is responsible for a task but joint responsibility never arises. Several extensions are discussed.
Keywords: responsibility, career concerns, reputation, delegation, incentives
JEL Classification: D23, M12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation