Unaccounted for no more: Explicating managers' role in accountability enactment

Jeremy Brees, B. Parker Ellen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Accountability research has focused primarily on how subordinates perceive or react to workplace accountabilities and largely ignored how managers choose to enact it. This omission has occurred despite repeated claims that managers hold subordinates accountable to different degrees and in different ways. We conducted a systematic review of accountability research for insights into managers' role in, and differential application of, workplace accountability. Through this review, we inductively developed a model of managerial accountability enactment, which highlights how managers choose to enact accountability in reaction to relevant subordinate events. Research suggests that variations in managers' enactment of accountability depend upon a myriad of individual, organizational, and situational characteristics. We discuss implications and suggest new directions for future accountability research that consider managers' role in the accountability process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-326
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • accountability
  • leadership
  • management
  • role theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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