Accountability is an essential part of social development. As people mature, they develop an expectation that friends, family and significant others will be there to help guide and encourage them. This is primarily through the process of being transparent and fully honest with one another. There are different avenues that require people to be accountable for one another, ranging anywhere from the professional world to the church altar. Students at California Baptist University learn about accountability in a variety of ways, and each has its own intention and function.
Brayden Walker, freshman computer science major, said he believes accountability is a personal decision that requires initiative and follow-through.
“The process of being held accountable mainly surrounds the concept of trying to live up to your own word,” Walker said. “When you hold up your end of the deal, it shows that you are a person of your word and are capable of being trustworthy and dependable.”
Aside from a social view, accountability can also be held in a religious connotation. People who hold the same beliefs are able to keep each other accountable according to how their actions and words line up with what they claim to believe.
The need for accountability within the church has been present since the birth of Christianity, initiated by the instruction of Paul, who was only echoing the greater command of Christ. Accountability groups can be found in almost any church in the current age, and most serve their purpose well.
Megan Hom, sophomore radiologic science major, said she believes accountability is an essential part of the Christian life.
“Accountability is an essential part of our spiritual walk, particularly as Christians because we need our brothers and sisters to count on when we encounter problems in our life,” Hom said. “For instance studying the Bible together fosters growth and maturity in all of the participants who open their heart to learn from one another.”
Accountability also has a large role to play in the professional world. Without accountability, business deals between companies would potentially collapse, environmental restrictions would go completely unchecked and business ethics would run the risk of being ignored.
Additionally, if a business attempted to function without accountability, it could be in danger of collapsing from within.
For example, if upper management was not held accountable to the employees (and vice versa), then communication would fall apart, and some employees may their work.
Dr. Marc Weniger, professor of business, elaborated on how accountability works within a professional setting, by using the illustration of a manager and their employees.
“In almost all instances, managers have to be held accountable to their employees,” Weniger said. “They have to hire correctly, train correctly, and supervise correctly in order to maintain a healthy work environment. If one of these objectives is not carried out correctly, then the responsibility and consequences fall heavily on the manager. Accountability, in this instance, must work from the top down.”
Accountability is believed to be capable of building and sustaining strong relationships, even if it requires an openness to others in ways that would sooner be resisted than embraced. Additionally, it is needed today more than ever. The vast amounts of information – and misinformation – that can go largely unchecked causes mass confusion.
Numerous students at CBU believe the practice of accounability in many conexts is effective. There is hope, and that hope can be found in restoring transparency and sense to how we interact with each other through the reintroduction of accountability.