Concentric Circles of Responsibility
The purpose of this activity is to explore the “concentric circles” of responsibility within a collaboration to help participants delineate individual and collective responsibilities for the collaborative work.
Read the explanation of concentric circles and respond to the following questions.
Based on research conducted by the Good Project, as individuals develop ethical reasoning and ethical decision-making skills, rings of responsibility widen. In other words, as individuals become more concerned with others around them, they develop more responsibility and act on these responsibilities to make sound ethical decisions not only for themselves but for others they care about and for people and societies they may never know. In work, there are five major responsibilities: responsibility to the self; responsibility to others (including family, peers, colleagues); responsibility to the workplace; responsibility to the field or domain (e.g. education, public health, the arts); and responsibility to society. These responsibilities become even more complicated when projects are a collaborative process.
Consider your work in this collaborative project:
-In this work, to whom or what are you responsible?
-In this work, to whom or what are your partners responsible?
-In this work, which responsibilities are shared by all collaborative partners?
-Look at these varying levels of responsibility. Can you imagine an instance where you might feel torn between conflicting responsibilities? Describe this situation and brainstorm options with colleagues.