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What is Responsibility? Definition, Types And Examples

Responsibility is fulfilling obligations and being careful when making decisions or doing something. Responsibility is also the fact of being responsible for someone or something.

The quality of being responsible means taking care of oneself and others, in response to the trust that people place in us. When we are responsible, we are expressing the sense of community and commitment we make to others.

What is responsibility with definition meaning and examples


Responsibility: Definition And Meanings

Responsibility is a value and an ethical practice, since it impacts family, academic, work and civic life.

A responsible person fulfills his duties in a timely and efficient manner. For example, a punctual person is responsible for his or her work, who carries out the assigned tasks and objectives in the best possible way.

It is also said that someone is responsible when they assume the consequences of their actions. For example, when a person accidentally damages another’s object and is about to repair it or replace it with a new one.

In law, liability is the legal obligation to respond for the damages that an action generates to others, always in the terms established by law for each case.

Responsibility covers many aspects of life, which is why we talk about various types of liability, such as civil, social, fiscal, joint and limited liability, among others.

Value of responsibility

The value of responsibility lies in the fact that, thanks to it, we take care of each other and achieve family, community and social development. When someone is not responsible, it not only affects their own growth, but it harms others.

In society, people are expected to act responsibly, exercising their rights and fulfilling their obligations as citizens.

For example, when a father abandons a child, it affects his emotional growth and exposes him to a more difficult life. But when you take loving care of him, the child grows with self-confidence and better develops his abilities.

Likewise, when the president of a country and his government team do not fulfill their obligations, a social crisis is unleashed. On the contrary, when they act responsibly, the country advances.

As we see, there are situations or roles where the level of responsibility is higher: a political position, a job, being parents or taking care of someone.

Responsibility is also an ethical issue, because by cultivating it we contribute to the common good.

Examples of responsibility

Responsibility is important for healthy personal, family, community and social development. But how is it expressed specifically? Let’s look at some examples.

  • Responsibility with oneself: maintain personal hygiene, eat well, read for information.
  • Responsibility at home: participate in household chores, maintain order and cleanliness, be attentive to common needs, etc.
  • Responsibility at school: attend classes, turn in assignments on time, study ahead of time, and collaborate with extracurricular activities.
  • Responsibility with our commitments: be punctual, keep our word, do our part, give our best effort.
  • Citizen responsibility: be well informed, vote, repair damage caused to others, pay taxes, report crimes and crimes, participate in solidarity activities, take care of the environment.

Types of responsibility

Civil liability

In law, civil liability is the obligation to repair the damage that one person has caused to another. Civil liability can be acquired by contract (contractual) or stipulated by law (extracontractual).

When the person responsible for the damages is a person other than the author, it is called liability for acts of others or subsidiary civil liability .

Social responsibility

Social responsibility is the burden, commitment or obligation that the members of a society have among themselves and with the society itself.

Social responsibility can be positive, in the sense of being obliged to carry out certain actions, or negative, in reference to refraining from undertaking certain actions.

There are three types of social responsibility:

Business or corporate social responsibility

It is the voluntary and active commitment and contribution of a company to improve society, that is, its commitment to human and sustainable development.

It covers aspects such as providing optimal working conditions for its employees; help the local community; give contributions to humanitarian causes; contribute to caring for the environment and offer products and services for the common good.

Governmental or public social responsibility

It is the commitment of governments and State entities to dictate and regulate laws that promote justice, the well-being of citizens and the care of the environment.

Individual social responsibility

It refers to good citizen practices that seek the common good. For example, collaboration in humanitarian causes; participation in elections; observance of the law; care of the environment, etc.

Fiscal responsibility

The actions taken by the different agencies of a State in tax matters are called fiscal responsibility. Establish who and to what degree have caused damage to public finances, and establish the corresponding sanctions.

Joint and several liability

Joint and several liability is the obligation or commitment of a company to respond to its workers, in the event that there are debts owed by the contractor or subcontractor.

This type of liability, therefore, applies to several persons who respond to an obligation incurred without requiring a declaration of insolvency from the principal agent. In this way, the creditor can claim the debt against one or all of the parties at the same time.

Limited liability

A limited liability company (SRL), or simply a limited company (SL), is a type of commercial company in which liability is limited to the contributed capital.

Therefore, if there are debts, the partners of this type of organization should not be liable with their personal assets. In this sense, social participations do not correspond to the shares of public limited companies (SA).

13 examples of a person’s responsibility:

Responsibility is the ability of a subject to respond to assumed commitments of any kind, as well as to a scenario that demands compliance with a duty or performance in ethical, moral and civic terms.

Responsibility is a highly valued attitude in society, since this value is associated with trust, solidarity, empathy, productive work, excellence and, above all, the common good.

A responsible person generates trust around them, which allows the undertaking of projects of all kinds that result in the good of all parties.

Below we present 13 examples of responsibility that will help you understand what this value consists of:

1. Commitment

A responsible person is committed and involved in the activities they carry out. Commitment translates into attitudes of attention, commitment and active participation in decision-making and tasks, as well as supportive and respectful treatment of other team members.

2. Excellence in the fulfillment of obligations

Whether in studies, at home, at work or in civic life, responsible people fulfill their obligations with good disposition and do so with excellence, which is why they stand out in the fulfillment of their duty.

Responsible people not only fulfill their obligations, as this is done by anyone who is pressured by authority. Responsible people give their best in fulfilling their obligations, that is, they strive to achieve work of the highest quality possible, which satisfies the needs of the environment and even exceeds them.

3. Acceptance of errors and their consequences

Being responsible is not equivalent to being perfect. Therefore, a responsible person is able to recognize his mistakes and immediately take corrective actions. This means that accepting a mistake and assuming its consequences, whatever they may be, is a trait of a responsible personality.

Blaming others or circumstances for failing to perform tasks is, clearly, an irresponsible attitude. Responsible people do not blame others, because they understand that this does not justify their actions and that it does not allow them to find a solution to the problems caused. Thus, whoever is responsible participates in the solution of the problem that he caused.

4. Prevention and preparation

Being prepared for every situation is a clear sign of responsibility. When a person is responsible, he anticipates the scenarios that he must face and prepares based on them, by acquiring basic tools, whether intellectual or of another nature.

Responsible people prepare for everyday situations as well as emergency situations. In the first case, an example is the student who, anticipating the academic schedule, prepares the topic in advance before attending class.

In the second case, we can cite as an example those people who always have up-to-date first aid kits at home, in the office or in the vehicle.

5. Diligence

Diligence is the quality of acting as soon as a need arises, which allows for a solution to the problem on the one hand, and preventing it from getting worse on the other. It is, in fact, the opposite principle to procrastination, which consists of postponing responsibility until the last moment.

6. Proactivity

Proactivity is understood as the attitude of taking creative and healthy initiatives to solve certain problems or to improve the immediate environment, be it family, school or work.

This attitude allows the person to quickly take control of situations that can eventually become conflict scenarios, minimizing damage or simply avoiding it.

Proactivity also implies the person’s good disposition towards work, which implies that they do not need to receive orders to know what they have to do and start doing it.

7. Say no when necessary

It seems confusing, but saying yes to every proposal or request, without taking into consideration the time available or our abilities, is irresponsible. Part of being responsible is being brave to say no when we see that there are no conditions to guarantee good performance.

A responsible person must evaluate whether he or she will truly be able to fulfill a new commitment, whether it has been requested or arises from his or her own motivation. Otherwise, it can negatively affect the development of projects and, consequently, you lose your good reputation, which can cost you in the future.

8. Help others be more responsible

The last level of responsibility is, then, helping others to be more responsible. This involves helping to transmit values ​​to act consciously in the social environment.

The responsible person is committed to training others and guides them in the commitment to family, student, work, environmental and civic responsibility.

9. Citizen participation

Responsibility as a social value is expressed in citizen participation. A responsible person participates, in one way or another, in community and citizen activities, according to his or her capabilities, knowledge, skills and availability.

For example, participate in community assemblies, parish activities, volunteer tasks, cleaning days, neighborhood projects, non-governmental organizations, political parties and, above all, participate through informed and conscious voting .

10. Care of the environment

Seeking the common good is part of the responsibility. Therefore, taking care of the environment is an essential attitude of responsible people.

A person who understands that the environment must be cared for is because he or she has first understood that environmental damage is caused by human action and, therefore, recognizes his or her responsibility in protecting the environment for the common good.

Thus, a responsible person places garbage in the places designated for it, recycles, saves water and energy, opts for responsible consumption, participates in ecological activities and promotes citizen awareness in this regard.

See also 10 examples of sustainable development in the world .

11. Maintaining order and cleanliness at home

Responsible people ensure the maintenance of order and cleanliness within their home. Responsible men and women participate in house activities and help maintain a healthy and respectful environment.

A clean and tidy house is a sign that its members are responsible in the fulfillment of their duties, have a proactive attitude, are diligent, are forewarned and are prepared for any scenario.

12. Invoices up to date

Paying bills on time and keeping debts up to date is part of a responsible attitude. In fact, it is a banking criterion to increase credit card amounts or to grant additional credits.

Whoever keeps their bills up to date (payment of services, taxes, credit cards), keeps their finances in order and opens opportunities for economic planning and investment.

13. Punctuality

Arriving on time is one of the most emblematic signs of responsibility. It implies, on the one hand, that the person is capable of managing their time in a profitable way. On the other hand, it implies that you respect the time of others and, therefore, respect the personal dignity of the other.

Furthermore, punctuality expresses good disposition. This principle can be extended to the punctual delivery of tasks and obligations required in studies or at work.

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