Individual accountability or Collective accountability - Which one do you value more?

Individual accountability or Collective accountability – Which one do you value more?

"It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one's acts." - Mahatma Gandhi. Accountability has acquired a somewhat negative connotation in recent times. In some circles, the word is now associated with sanctions. We must look beyond that to a broader perspective where accountability is synonymous with responsibility. Accountability does not only mean to point fingers, but also means to carry out responsibility faithfully. In a vast country like India, each contributing person must carry out his duties and functions faithfully and efficiently, so that the entire system works properly. Individual accountability thus is much more important in such a diverse country. However, making the system work is not an individual task but needs team effort. Collective responsibility ensures teamwork.

Individual accountability is more important–

1. Individual accountability is important to prevent and lower the likelihood of free riders or social loafing. Individual accountability is the belief that everyone will be accountable for her/his performance. Individual accountability occurs when the performance of each individual is assessed and the results are given back to the individual.

2. In collective accountability it’s easy to shift blame. The blame game makes it difficult to pin point the responsibility.

3. Individual accountability makes each person responsible for their respective tasks thus ensuring accountability even at the lowest level and in smallest delegated/allotted tasks.

4. It also guarantees proper execution of work as all know whom to catch hold of when results are not up to the mark.

5. It focuses on the idea of micro to macro. Each individual element contributing efficiently will always make the machine work efficiently.

6. It also helps in development of an individual. It makes an individual stronger as one focuses his or her energies to ful fill the allotted tasks.

7. Individual accountability also helps in proper work distribution and avoids over loading of work.

8. Individual accountability drives achievement. Holding accountable does not only mean punishment. When we know we will be held accountable for an individual performance we are more motivated and try harder than at times when we know no one will see how well we can perform.

Collective accountability –

1. No single individual can complete complex tasks all on his own. Collective accountability takes an important concept called teamwork into consideration.

2. Most of the times many individuals cooperate to complete a task. So it is appropriate to hold all of them accountable rather than each individual. This is so because no single individual's work can be isolated from the group’s work.

3. In the current state of the world, one can find that almost all tasks are complex and need cooperation in one way or another. So the concept of collective accountability makes much more sense than individual accountability.

4. Collective accountability instills teamwork and cooperation. Under individual accountability each one will look after his or her self interest rather than the team’s progress. Where a team produces a whole piece of work, output is much easier to assess.

5. The focus is shifted from finger pointing to jointly figuring out how things should be done differently in the future. This leads to the success of the organization.

6. Also many times there are situations where even if each individual contributes, the whole project fails. In such scenarios, who is to be blamed? The concept of collective accountability is much more useful over here.

All for one and one for all’ is best known as the motto of the title characters in the book ‘The Three Musketeers’, by the 19th-century French author Alexandre Dumas. Each is at once accountable to himself and to his fellow Musketeers. Thus, we too must realize that individual as well as collective accountability needs to be followed. And even though to us they both seem opposite to each other, they are not; and actually can complement each other. Each individual must fulfill his own duty and responsibility faithfully so that the project is completed. Also, no one works in isolation. Complex tasks can only be achieved by proper teamwork and only collective accountability can help foster teamwork. Thus both the concepts are intertwined.
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  • RE: Individual accountability or Collective accountability – Which one do you value more? -Rohit Sharma (09/29/15)
  • we all know this phrase unity is strength according to me the collective accountability of the group accountability is more important compare to the fixing the indexing the individual accountability because when we fix the countability or when we fix the account payable responsible for a group or 4 to do a particular task in the whole group is equally liable for that particular task in the equal whole group efforts the old Rahul members of the group equally efforts to form that task then I think the task will be done pretty good man and then to compare that with the individual so I think the collective accountability set set is good compared to the individual
  • RE: Individual accountability or Collective accountability – Which one do you value more? -Deepa Kaushik (09/29/15)
  • Small individual units makes a team. Individualityis very much important to in as a person, but for a team work the collective accountability matters. Every individual unit when works in unison makes the big units. The efficacy of the large units not only depend on the individual talent but also their synchronization.

    Every individual victory can give pride to the nation, but it cannot run the nation. When it comes to representation on the global scale, the collective unit is tagged along with the individual name. For the victory of the individual in any sphere, his name is accompanied by the organization or the nation to group him under a collective head. This addition of the team name does not only add pride to the team, but the individual had initially gained the importance

    collective accountability is the one which rules the globe. We are always summed up under some or the other unit. It could be a school or organization, our society, state, nation, linguist, religion etc. So we always need to be a part of collective accountability.

    To succeed in life andclimb up the ladder of success for self, yes individual accountability matters. But to have a healthy and peaceful living, we need to be vigilant and keen on our collective accountability. On a wider perspective, collective accountability always values over individual accountability.
  • RE: Individual accountability or Collective accountability – Which one do you value more? -Divya (09/29/15)
  • We have been hearing about good governance or maximum governance. Collective accountability is what we require to achieve such goal. Individual brilliance is also important but for inclusive growth, collective responsibility is required.
  • RE: Individual accountability or Collective accountability – Which one do you value more? -Accountability (09/28/15)
  • Collective accountability is paramount in the present scenario. The leader is very important for any organization or country for its development. And the leaders doesn't represent himself but he is responsible for other's action in the team.