Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Ownership and Accountability

Ownership vs Accountability

These days, we are hearing a lot of issues about the difference between ownership and accountability. The employers and employees are somewhat confused as to what these two mean or even what their varied distinctions are. From the VP’s I was able to talk to about the given subjects, they are utterly sure of the dissimilarity concerning the two. First, what do “ownership” and “accountability” literally mean if you will look for them in any random dictionary?


The state of being an owner; to possess, to claim with legality.


The state of being accountable; someone who is in charge for a specific project or account; the person is obligated to answer for anything regarding his or her responsibility in case it goes wrong; accountableness.

From these two definitions, we plainly see how different they are but oftentimes misunderstood. These terms are usually used in a work scenario. An example for this is:

Rey is called upon by his boss for a closed-door meeting. He is a hard-working and effective supervisor so his boss decided to give him a promotion. He was then made into a manager of a department, and he was told: “Rey, you are accountable for your team.”

“Accountable” here means that Rey will see to it that his team performs well and that he has to maximize every person’s potential in his team. Whatever resource they have must be put to good use in order to get the job done.

If Rey wants to excel, he has to maintain a feeling of ownership. He owns the team in a sense that if he treats the work as something exclusive for him, or that he has a claim in it, it will be the privilege to say that he is the team leader if the work was done great. He will take care of the team because HE is the team. He OWNS the work of the team.

So what happens if one of Rey’s members does not do what is required of him? Who will be accountable? His member is accountable for himself as to why he did not finish his work. The same thing goes for Rey. As an “owner” or leader, his job is to have the work done properly and as needed by his boss or their clients. If he slipped and did not oversee the failure of his member, then it will be his downfall too.

Maybe Rey did not feel that he has to make good on things since he was bombarded by ideas that he is just a worker, and in the same manner Rey gave his team member the same idea. Who will be inspired to work if his feelings are crushed or belittled? This is really a human behavioral training issue.

So the best thing that managers can do is to create a work habitat that will help their employees in improving their work thus resulting in more involvement and ownership. This will present to the employees choosing a feel for ownership and be able to demonstrate it. A few examples to achieve this are:

To feel that they are taken care of.
The feeling of self-sufficiency to make their choices that can affect their job.
Giving them problems to work on and solve that are interesting as well as challenging.
The feeling that the job they are assigned has great importance and meaning to the organization.
Association and collaboration.
Being able to connect with their work, their team, the business, and institute.
Giving them their work together with workplaces that are gratifying and blithe.

For the managers, they will be able to progress in ownership by constructing a workplace to be motivating and gratifying. Even if there will only be small gestures presented, nonetheless, in its sincerest form of consideration and concern, those gestures will go a very long way. Showing it to the teams will make them feel important and distinct as well.


1.“Ownership” is claiming a specific thing or situation. It is the exclusive right to possess the responsibility that was laid down. “Accountability” is being responsible in a certain obligation.
2.These terms are used in the business/professional/career fields.
3.One is accountable in a certain situation up to the extent that he or she feels an ownership to it. This is better because work will be done more appropriately. If the feeling is just accountability, then the person accountable just feels that he is a worker. The person who feels that he is the one claiming a particular work situation, then he will be motivated even more because of ownership. He can very well say that it’s MY team, MY work.

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder