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What’s the Difference Between Authority and Accountability?

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Key difference: Both these words come under power and rights and are closely interdependent to nothing but authority and accountability. Authority refers to the power to make decisions, whereas accountability refers to where you have to be answerable for your decisions in authority. These big concepts come under governance, leadership, and decision-making.  Without accountability, authority is misused or illegal. Without authority, accountability may lack the power to effect change. You can learn the significant differences between authority and accountability in this article.

Good Examples of the words “Authority and Accountability” are,
1. Authority is the legitimate power.
2. Accountability concept helps to promote transparency and trust.



Authority refers to power or right.

Authority is the power to make orders and control the people under them. The concept developed by Max Weber comes under the Social System. It depends on leadership qualities and is based on legal rights and decision-making. The characteristics of Authority are mainly rationality and accountability. The job decides the rules and regulations to follow and enforces the complaint. It runs for the long term in one’s life to build their career strong.

The authority’s main function is to give orders and regulate undeveloped programs. Authority can make decisions freely without asking permission from anyone; they pass the order without hesitation. The basic things work as the authority. They have the power to order and also, at the same time, to assign it as a power to rule. The Best Example of Authority is “Nancy is the higher authority officer under government.”

How do We Spell the Word Authority?

The vocal representation of the word Authority is “aw·thaw·ruh·tee, In the below, you can know by hearing the audio of the phrase authority.


Syllabification is where we split the words into individual vowel sounds. A syllable should have at least one vowel in the word. For example, we will see the syllable of the word “Authority.”

  • I wondered if the word “Authority” has four syllables.
  • The split is “AU-THOR-I-TY.”

How do We Pronounce “Authority”

“Authority” – Pronunciation

Using “Authority” in sentences:

  • There is no appeal to authority.
  • In every family, Father is the final authority.
  • What are the types of authority followed by regulations?
  • The authority of the city is merely nominal.
  • Henry was appointed as a higher authority officer.



Accountability is responsible for your actions.

Accountability refers to responsibility. It involves taking ownership of taking actions and decisions, whether they may be positive or negative. It should be answerable to what you do and willing to do in the future should be accountable, and it is an essential component of any functional society. Individuals and organizations may act with impunity, and governance may be undermined depending on accountability.

The Best Example of “Accountability” is “Smith is very good at his accountable actions in his office.”

How do We Spell the Word Accountability?

Spell / Pronunciation in which a word or particular language is spoken among people. The Oral representation of the phrase accountability is “uh·kawn·tuh·bi·luh·tee.” It would help if you practiced it slowly for the outcome of a perfect spell. Below, you can know by hearing the audio of the word accountability.


Syllabification is where we split the words into individual vowel sounds. A syllable should have at least one vowel in the word. For example, we will see the syllable of the word “accountability.”

  • Wondering if the word “Accountability” has six syllables in it.
  • The split is “AC-COUNT-TA-BIL-I-TY.”

How do We Pronounce “Accountability”

Accountability – Pronunciation

Using “Accountability” in sentences:

  • The government is held accountable through elections.
  • informal accountability involves public shaming and public pressure.
  • Both formal and informal accountability is important to protecting people’s rights.
  • Accountability is the fundamental principle of democracy.
  • What are the types of accountability?

Similarities between Authority & Accountability

The title reveals the difference between Authority & Accountability. But, like, you want to know also similar things about the above two words. So come, let’s see below.

  • Authority and Accountability are often related to components like leadership and management and are often part of the hierarchy structure.
  • Both are interdependent and accountable for their decisions and actions and are mutually needed for positions of power and responsibility.


DEFINITIONAuthority is the power to make orders and enforce rules & regulations.Accountability is the state of being responsible and answerable for one’s actions, decisions and behaviour.
SYNONYMSPower, Command, Control,
Jurisdiction, Officials, Domination,
Administration, Supremacy,
Charge and Mastery.
Responsibility, Liability,
Answerability, Chargeable, Liable, Reporting, and Obedience.
DIRECTIONIt will flow downward
step by step to all
It will flow upwards
step by step to all
Charismatic authority
Traditional authority
Rational-legal authority
G2C (Government-to-Citizen)
G2B (Government-to-Business)
G2G (Government-to-Government)
WAY OF RIGHTSIt is the formal right,
it would be passed from
one higher authority
to another low-cadre person.
It can be the formal right or informal rights, formal right refers to mechanism and structure whereas informal right refers to social norms and expectations.
EXAMPLESAuthority is between managers and subordinates.
How is authority decided?
She questioned them because she
was the higher authority to all.
Authority refers to power and rights.
I utilized my full authority in that event.
I will take accountability for the decisions made for the team.
Government is accountability for its fund-raising and spending.
There is no trust in business without proper accountability.
Accountability is the key to development in personal growth.

Infographic Representation:


Resources & References:

Resources: Cambridge Dictionary (Authority & Accountability), Merriam-Webster (Authority & Accountability), (Authority & Accountability)
Reference:[1], Merriam-Webster. com[2], Merriam-Webster. com[3], Dictionary. com[4].


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