Hi All, 

In a job description... how do you differ between ownership and responsibility?

I work in telecoms and moving into a new role following a successful interview (thanks MT!) which is a fairly big promotion for me.

I'm reviewing the job description before my 1st April start as it needs a quick tidy up to reflect the full role. Thankfully I'm 80% aware of what is required but once I have that 80% documented I can get to 100% during a review with my new line manager.

This brings me on to the difficulty I am having... perhaps i'm just having a slow day?!

How do you differ between ownership and responsibility?

Example 1 - I will have ownership/responsibility for a dedicated network made up of multiple components from a number of suppliers and also the service running across that network

In this example do I 'own' the network and have a 'responsibility' for delivering the service within the agreed SLAs to our customer?

Example 2 - I will have ownership/responsibility for the supplier relationships.

In this example do I 'own' the relationship and have a 'responsibility' for ensuring they are delivery to their contract?

Thanks in advance, 


TomW's picture
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I'm sure the exact meaning varies greatly from company to company, but here's how I think of it:

If you have ownership, you could shut it down and start a new one if you saw fit to do so. If you need someone else's permission to shut it down, then you are responsible for maintaining/operating it while the other person whose permission you had to request has ownership of it.