the obligation to carry out specified duties and tasks. For instance, someone who has responsibility for cash transactions in an ORGANIZATION is obliged either to carry them out himself or herself or to ensure that others do so. Failure to do so can result in action being taken against the person with responsibility for them. A common problem in organizations is that responsibilities are weakly defined: it is not fully clear who is responsible for what, with the result that certain functions are not carried out effectively. Similarly, some office holders are unwilling to take full responsibility for their actions and decisions. See ACCOUNTABILITY, AUTHORITY.