The nature of responsibility in a professional setting

Journal of Business Ethics 88 (1):11 - 19 (2009)
Abstract
This paper begins by looking at the complex and dynamic nature of responsibility. Based in the interconnected concepts of imputability, accountability and liability it argues that, whilst some elements of responsibility can be determined through role and contract, the broader sense of liability involves a sense of shared responsibility that is ultimately based in the concept of universal responsibility. Such responsibility requires core virtues, not least awareness and integrity, a continued means of negotiating responsibility and ongoing dialogue between the different responsibilities connected to role. The paper argues that the nature of such dialogue is itself grounded in the development of personal and shared responsibility. It concludes that the professions have a moral leadership role in articulating and modelling that responsibility.
Keywords responsibility  imputability  accountability  liability  professional  leadership
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