Difference Between Authority Accountability And Responsibility Management Essay

LD Manager has to lead a team, as HOD in many circumstances and it is important for LD manager to revisit concept of JOB Analysis, Job Description and Job Specificaiton. Job description’s major components are accountability, reponsbility and authority. Before stepping forward, it will be important to understand difference between authority, accountability and resonsbility.

Difference between Authority, Accountability & Responsibility:


It is “right given to a position by external source to do something”, this can be right to give orders, pass instructions or right delegated to use organization’s assets i.e. cash or equipment. This right of executing orders eventually results in perceptual power of the position.


For whatever the position can be, or fears to be blamed for, is the responsibility of positionŠ; “responsibility is compulsory requirement to perform the task or set of tasks”. These tasks actually present minimum level of expectations from any position. Responsibility of any position is list of tasks that position is expected to perform. May or may not being asked about it. Responsibility may include broader areas, where it might not be possible to pin point the position; but people with integrity will step ahead, and ask to be held accountable for their areas of responsibility.


For whatever the position actually get blamed for is its accountability. “Accountability is clear list of tasks, failure to which might result in penalty, and position will be held answerable for”. These tasks represent expectations which might emerge in case of failure to accomplish some tasks.

Difference Between Job Analysis, Job Description & Job Specification:

Figure below can provide fair idea of sequence of all three concepts.

Job Analysis:

Job Analysis, is process which is followed right after position identification and position building in organization chart. It is the first step in process of hiring the candidate, right after identification and creation of the job role. This process includes taking example from industry for defining point of interaction of position, what is the amount of value that a position will bring to the organization.

In one line, Job Analysis is requirements of organization from the position.

Job Analysis further helps in making “Job Description” and “Job Specification”; it is used as point of reference.

Job Description:

Once we understand requirements from the position, then next step is to define ways of meeting those requirements. It includes amount of resources, and authority provided to the position to fulfill the business need.. A job description can be as simple as list of tasks required from the position to perform.

Formal job description will include level of responsibility, expected outcome, including reporting line and other interactions.

Once expectations, and means of attaining expectations are documented, then sketching ideal candidate will become easier.

Job Specification:

Sketch of ideal candidate is job specification, we defined the organization’s requirement from the position. Then we illustrated amount of resources & delegation of authority required to accomplish organization’s expectations, in end we define the ideal candidate who can fill organization’s expectations utilizing the provided resources.

In order to establish your understanding better, a raw example of computer can be taken. During early ears of university, students were required to file assignments for which they needed support of computer. Not only student wants to make assignments on computer, they also wish to listen music while making the assignments. Hence they decided to buy a computer which can play music, can be taken in to class to note down lecture and shall have ability to print and send emails. Here identification of the need is just like process of job analysis.

For fulfilling this requirement they visited senior students and got suggestions that computers with Windows XP, Microsoft Office and good speakers will be able to address their majority of requirements, plus they need laptop/portable computers in particular to fulfill their requirements. Clear definition of requirements/responsibilities is like job description.

When students visit market, they are informed that latest operating system is windows 8, and current MS office is 2010. For playing music and movies they may require bright screen and powerful battery to give at least 3 hours of backup so they can work during their class. Now, to fill these requirements, they will need at least 2.3 Ghz Core i3, with 2GB RAM, 150 GB Hard Drive, Wireless Network Card, Sound Card, Aux Port (For Music/headset) and 12 cell battery with 13inch display. Now let us list the requirements more clearly

Core i 3 Processor 2.3 Ghz


150 GB Hard Drive



Audio Out Port

13″ Display

12 Cell Battery

This list of requirement for these students is ideal requirements, because better computer might be able to address their requirement but it may cost more, and may not be specifically designed for word processing & general student usage. This ideal list is just like job specifications for any job role in the organization. Where employer will be seeking the candidate who will match most of the requirements listed in the Job Specification.

After visiting market, they get to know that in optimum price they will be able to get is for computer with 6 cell battery but with larger hard drive and more RAM. But computer with 6 cell battery will be able to provide them about 3hrs of battery life; they might need to run it on power saving settings.

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Students will happily purchase the computer and their problem will be addressed. Same way employer will be able to screen in candidates who will have majority of specifications matching with their job specification; and that candidate will likely be able to address the business challenges at hand.

Hence job specification is just like listing down technical specification, before purchasing the equipment. Only difference here with human resource is that over qualified employee may not be always a good to have, we may take in to consideration, the ability of employee to develop his skills but already over skilled employee might start feeling de-motivated quickly and may not be able to attain expected growth. It may result in deterioration in his performance, it will be negative for organizational performance and for employee career too.

Job specification shall be used to screen job application of candidates. And job description will be of help during interviews. Candidates shall be explained about job description, it is also advised to provide detailed explanation about challenges of position and build ownership of candidate right from the interview.

Designing the Department:

Provided is sample hierarchy of Learning & Development department.

Learning & Development department can be formulated differently as per different requirements, for example in case of NGO which deals with medicine may require doctors to educate their field staff or to educate other doctors in that case they may assign different specialists to every domain. In case of sales department, where only one line of skills are required then assistant managers can be spread as per geography. Hence there can be following style of designing the learning department:

Managing Tangent:

Geographical spread

Responsibility spread

Skill based spread

Learning Program or Project based spread

Function based spread

Geographical Spread:

In scenarios where your learning department is designed to address needs of one or similar departments where limited skills will be addressed, in such situations dividing your workforce as per geographical spread will be best. For example, in this case assistant managers will have titles i.e. “Assistant Training Manager – North” depending on work load you may divide the territorial responsibility of all reporting trainers/training managers.

Employees find highly empowered and get ability to present performance with 100% responsibility in mini domains. They get to share the same responsibility as of “Training Manager” in their respective territories. But it has drawbacks too, employees get too focused in their respective domains, and may get to compete negatively with each other.

Responsibility Spread:

Employees can be divided as per different responsibilities, for example one assistant manager can be responsible of designing the learning content, another for operations and one for delivering it. i.e. “Learning Design Specialist”, “Learning Development Specialist” and “Assistant Training Manager”.

Skill Based Spread:

In case of technical knowledge i.e. engineers, software engineers or doctors, here skill based divisions can be made. For example “Oracle-Specialist”, “Visual Basic Specialist” and “Java Specialist”. Each specialist will focus over their own areas of expertise and in some cases, one specialist may attend training of another specialist.

They may not be necessarily trainers themselves, in case they are facilitators, still their area of responsibility can be divided as per their skills.

Learning Program based Spread:

Different divisions can be made as per different formats of learning agenda. For example, “High Performing Resource”, “Majority”, “Frontline / Third Party”. Different assistant to training managers may be assigned with responsibility as per the learning programs; each with responsibility of leading different learning agenda.

Function Based Spread:

Team can be divided as per different functions or departments, if your learning agenda is spread all across organization; then it might be good idea to dedicate one resource to one division/department, it will ensure department specific delivery and healthy competition among each other. Drawback of this style is, that employees get a little too disengaged from each other and may fail to learn from others experiences. For this meetings for sharing the best practices may fuel the healthy competition and increased learning experience for the team members.

Defining the Position:

Depending upon Learning & Development department’s format you chose, there can be different titles in the learning department, some of them are explained below and their sample job description is also provided.

Learning Manager

Training Manager

Training Design Specialist

Capability Builder

Training Operations Manager / Training Coordinator

Head of Training & Development

Assistant Training Manager

Learning Manager:

Learning Department is focused towards organization’s capability building and steering it through culture, instead of only delivering the predefined training agenda. This is how Learning & Training different. Same way Learning Manager is responsible for driving its agenda through organization wide interventions instead of executing pre-defined skill sets, behaviors or other deliverables. Other than this core difference both the roles are quite similar. Provided is the sample JD:

Sample Job Description of Training/Learning Manager:

This position is responsible for developing and delivering training to all roles within the organization. The Training Manager is responsible for working closely with various business segments in order to capture existing knowledge, best practices, and identify learning gaps.

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Core Responsibility:

Deliver trainings to internal audience

Oversee the development of training instructional design.

Lead internal capability building projects.

Control and report project plans to senior management.

Lead the development of the content for training, talent development programs.

Provide expert lead for remote learning, e-learning, instructor lead learning.

Support line-managers in formulating on job training programs for their subordinates

Support employees in developing personal performance development plans.

Develop and provide content for training, staff development programs, using knowledge of the effectiveness of methods, distance and e-learning, in-class demonstrations, on-the-job training, meetings, conferences, and workshops.

Design and perform needs assessments and training evaluations.

Develop unusual or smart ideas about a given situation, and develop creative ways to solve problems.

Develop and continuously improve testing and evaluation procedures.

Develop and organize training manuals, multimedia visual aids, and other educational materials.

Lead HR / Division related corporate communications

Excellent verbal/written communication skills and strong relationship building skills.

Ensure L&D Content calibration with organization’s objectives.

Update and revise learning & development content and teaching methodology in order to maintain relevancy.

Maintain familiarity with current texts, materials, teaching aids and techniques relative to courses within the discipline and recommends their adoption when appropriate.

Actively seeks ways to improve content.

Desired Skills & Experience

Successful Candidates Will Have The Following Education, Experience and Skills:  

Masters/Bachelor Degree

6+ years of training experience, with 2 years in similar capacity

Foundation in adult learning styles.

Experience delivering Instructor Led Training and Distance Learning.

Excellent verbal/written communication skills and strong relationship building skills.

Good to have:

Experience developing ILT and eLearning training.

Experience using Adobe Flash, Captivate, Camtasia, or other content developing tools.  

Training Design Specialist:

Training Design or Learning Design specialist are different just by the philosophy of “Learning & Training” departments, other than this, here is another variant of the position tagged as “Learning Design & Development Specialist”, this position includes development of the content as well; and requires support staff underneath.

Sample JD Learning & Development Specialist

Learning and Development Specialist will provide the learning and development interventions needed to enhance and build the capabilities across all employees. This will be achieved by utilizing existing internal resources and teams as well as outsourced L&D providers. The Learning and Development Specialist will:


Develop national/global Learning and Development (L&D) strategies and plans in collaboration with the senior leadership team, HR Business Partner and other talent management teams

Using a robust understanding of the respective functional agendas design, develop and implement an integrated set of L&D solutions which demonstrably help drive business goals.

Build strong relationships with key functional stakeholders to ensure that L&D solutions are effectively integrated into functional plans and processes.

Collaborate effectively with HR Business Partners and other specialists within the function to ensure that L&D solutions, tools & processes are effectively integrated into broader HR strategies and planning processes

Work with the Zonal/Regional/Functional Learning & Development teams to accurately identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of L&D through the creation and implementation of standardized processes, tools and solutions.

Ensure solutions are appropriately documented to include facilitator guides, presentation materials, and pragmatic follow-on methods to ensure learning is successfully translated into improved on the job performance

Where solutions require external delivery partners, ensure timely recruitment, contracting and coordination of resources to deliver programs across the organization.

Work with the L&D team to implement program evaluation standards through the design and implement of program specific evaluation measures.

Provide guidance & coaching around the effective utilization of best practice development principles within both the L&D community and your customer groups.

When designing group wide solutions, ensure clear accountabilities between functional L&D, regional/market L&D and yourself, effectively project manage elements of program design & delivery through to evaluation to ensure achievable milestones are set, deadlines are met, stakeholders are engaged and budgets are maintained.

Develop and implement reporting mechanisms to ensure evaluation of L&D activities, support effective stakeholder engagement and timely identification and resolution of performance issues.

Maintain a robust external network of practitioners and leading academics to ensure leading thinking is appropriately applied in support of best practice development solutions.

Provide input into the creation and on-going review of the effectiveness of the L&D strategy, and development of solutions, tools & processes.

Champion, support and embed LMS systems (where applicable), communicating the benefits and providing specialist knowledge on use and deployment

Desired Skills & Experience

To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, an individual must have successfully completed the following requirements:

Bachelors degree, preferably in Business, HR Development or related field.

Experience of working in a decentralized organization & specifically a learning function with primary delivery responsibility owned in-market.

Professional knowledge of adult learning, instructional design, and development principles, including underpinning technology.

Knowledge of SAP HR learning management system (or similar LMS) desirable.

Credible, passionate and able to inspire trust in others

Proven ability to build strong working relationships, internal and external to the organization, including management of global vendors.

Ability to demonstrate strong conceptual thinking skills and commercial acumen through the design & implementation of pragmatic, business led development solutions.

Must display superior verbal, written, presentation, and facilitation skills.

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Proven project management skills with experience of delivering programs on a national/global basis through teams or virtual teams.

Capability Builder:

In organogram of the L&D department, capability builder can be tagged on position of front line to senior position. This title is often used in learning program based or project based division in the department, higher the responsibility of the project, more senior will be the capability builder. For example, for superior talent management a capability builder will be responsible of developing the content in close coordination with the senior leadership, a capability builder might not have all the experience of the field he/she is responsible of but with help of senior management and research work, capability need of concern domain will be addressed. It can include designing the content, delivering or getting it delivered through outsourced trainers or senior leadership.

Sample JD of Capability Builder:

As a Capability Developer, the successful candidate will work closely with Business partners and analysts; and agencies to strengthen the capability of employees. The primary responsibility will be to identify the need for capability interventions, the implementation, and pilot prototypes of innovative approaches for learning interventions. Upon proving capability in a pilot, this position will work with support functions and development teams to integrate the new capability into enterprise-level systems for long-term adoption. This position will also collaborate with analysts from across the organization to explore new and innovative ways in which organization’s competencies and capabilities can be applied to current and future challenges.

Minimum Qualifications and Requirements:

Education/Training:   Graduate Preferably in HR, with eight (8) years applicable experience; or MS with five (5) years of experience.

Skills/Abilities:   Candidates shall have ability & confidence to coordinate with senior management team. Lock their calendars and the capability building requirement through.

Successful candidates will have the ability to:  Contribute in a team environment with other team members with  varying skills, experience and locations; recognize and deal appropriately with confidential and sensitive information; identify the need for improvements, prototype solutions, and communicate requirements; interact effectively with technical and non-technical audiences with verbal and written communications; acting in a customer service role to internal and external stakeholders; work meticulously with careful attention to detail and priority of work; learn new procedures, techniques, and approaches; and as appropriate define them for others.

Other Personal Capabilities Required:

Ability to contact with computer for prolonged periods of time

Ability to work under pressure and changing priorities; pay attention to detail; meet inflexible deadlines; deal with difficult inter-personal situations while maintaining composure.

Training Operations Manager:

This title may also be used as “Junior Manager Training Ops” or “Ops Manager”, “Ops Coordinator”. Depending upon responsibility and scope of work. Operation Manager for Training is usually a middle or front line managerial position, primarily focused on facilitating the L&D with logistic requirements. This position requires candidate to be very good in personal relationship building, have extremely high standards and shall never settle for less. The difference between a normal admin manager and training ops manager is primarily of higher standards, where training operations manager understands that in world of Learning & Development, here is no such thing as second best, or anything as improvement at latter stage. The difference between training coordinator and Training Operations Manager is, that training coordinator gets the work done through administration, where Training Operations Manager either have the team or does all the work on his own. Training coordinator may have data updating and internal meeting scheduling as well; where operations manager training often does not have this in list of responsibilities.

Sample JD of Training Operations Manager:

Key person responsible for supporting the training and development team’s administrative and logistical needs. You will:

Create/facilitate the training calendar, schedule training programs and monthly training calls

Coordinate logistics for programs, including hotel rooms, airfare and ground transportation

Choose and secure locations, venues, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment for scheduled programs

Manage external training vendors, including scheduling, logistics, billing, and invoicing

Track attendance and facilitate postponement / cancellation process, using online databases and live interactions

Create surveys, collect participant feedback for all programs and trainers, and distribute feedback to local teams and vendors

Facilitate in annual budgets (Specially for Logistics), and training programs. And track actual spending

Build and maintain a database of training materials and documents

Coordinate on-site training programs including travel to host locations

Be a thought partner to the broader team on new training opportunities, concepts, and formats that will improve training in both the near and long-term future

Desired Skills & Experience

BA/BS degree required.

Strong computer skills with an advanced working knowledge of Excel, Outlook, Word and Power Point.

Experience in HR or adult education/training is a plus.

Familiarity with standard business filing procedures and systems

Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English


Displays service-oriented mentality and responds to customer’s needs with a sense of urgency

Able to multi-task in a fast-paced, intellectually intense, deadline driven, service oriented environment

Strong organizational and time management skills, ability to set priorities, display attention to details and is tenacious with follow-ups

Be a team player yet able to work independently, with demonstrated ability to be flexible, responsive and to take initiative

Highly self motivated & pleasant personality

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