Case ID: BH248
Solution ID: 2007

Accountability Lens A New Way to View Management Issues

Case Solution

Contends that viewing organizations through an accountability lens (in terms of source, focus, salience, and intensity) helps illuminate issues of governance and ethical dilemmas common to most individuals at work. Proposes that disconnects between aspects of accountability may pressure individuals to behave unethically and seek to rationalize their behaviors and suggests that accountability is not only an organizational requirement, but also a perceptual lens that can be used to observe and understand behavior in, and of, organizations. Demonstrates how to make better sense of functional and dysfunctional behavior in organizations by applying the accountability lens. A key component of this accountability lens is the notion of an accountability environment: those aspects of an individual's immediate work environment that directly affect the subjective interpretation and experience of felt accountability. The notion that individuals perceive and interpret their account-abilities subjectively is critical to understanding why multiple employees can behave differently (and sometimes unethically) under the same accountability conditions.

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