Major Differences Between Duties and Responsibilities You didn’t Know

Filed in Articles by on May 18, 2021

Difference Between Duties and Responsibilities: Duties and responsibilities are easily mistaken for each other but contextually are different. Duty is a moral commitment to something or someone, whereas responsibility is a condition of being responsible.

Duty reflects respect or obedience, for the work, rules, superiors, or elders while responsibility reflects accountability for the performance or nonperformance of something.


The word duty comes from the Latin word ‘debate, meaning obligation; to call to do something. It determines what a person should have done in the normal course of action in general or in specific circumstances.

Duty is what we have to do according to the law, conventions, or moral rules. It can be distinguished according to the law and regulations, but it also has personal connotations based on one’s values, too.

The law governing the country has specified certain duties which must be followed by every citizen. It exhibits an invisible force that binds a person to do something which is considered right in the eyes of law, whose non-performance may result in fine or punishment.

Duty is the obligatory task, conduct, work, or service that emerges out of an individual’s position, occupation or role. In management, the word ‘duty’ is used to define the tasks or functions which an employee has to perform, as it is a part of his/her job.

A sense of duty is to obey political, legal, and moral rules set out by an organization.


Responsibility is used interchangeably with the word duty. It originates from the Latin word ‘respondere’, meaning to vouch; respond to something.

It defines the state of being responsible (morally accountable or having an obligation to do something): it involves decision-making and comes with one having certain duties. Responsibility comes in two parts: it can be given to you, but you also have to take responsibility by accepting the role or task assigned to you.

It makes a person answerable or accountable for the completion of the task, or safekeeping of valuables/cash, or protection of a person. Hence, the person who accepts the responsibility has to be ready to bear the consequences, for his/her actions or decisions taken in this regard, which may be positive or negative.

Responsibility often comes with the authority to give directions and take relevant actions when required. When authority is delegated to a person, he/she becomes responsible for its performance and the optimum use of the delegated authority.

Distinction Between Duties and Responsibilities

1. The term ‘duty’ is a moral commitment to something or someone, whereas responsibility is a condition of being responsible.

2. Duty demands the sacrifice of self-interest.

3. As duty refers to moral commitment, it denotes an active feeling for doing something.

4. Responsibility can be termed as an ability to act at one’s own will, without any supervision. It is the obligation to successfully complete an assigned task.

5. In responsibility, a person is solely responsible for the entire task and its outcome. It is the responsibility of the parents to give good education to their children.

6. Once a person engages himself with some duty or if he has been entrusted with a duty, then that person fully commits himself to it.

If you find this article interesting, please subscribe with your email address for more educational materials.

CSN Team.

Comments are closed.

Hey Hi

Don't miss this opportunity

Enter Your Details