AbstractSocieties achieve their purposes through organizations. But organizations may develop into instrumental entities bereft of ethical debate. Roberts (Account. Org. Soc. 16(4) (1991) 355) claims that their hierarchical accountability systems powerfully reinforce instrumentality and individualize accountability. Based on the Habermasian 'work' and 'interaction' dichotomy, he discusses ways of counteracting such consequences. We criticize this attempt in certain respects and propose a responsibility/accountability (R/A) framework--allowing for an extended exposition of individual senses of R/A, and of organizational forms that could contribute to promoting such senses. We believe that a framing of this kind should benefit analysis and facilitate a shift in focus away from top-down control and non-reflective accountability and towards individual agency and responsibility within the context of decentralized forms of organization.
Accountability Responsibility Organization form