Theoretically, if some one with a higher rank approved your coding or design, you now holds much less responsibility on your own, instead the approvers are the main focus. If approval is just a signature with no responsibility and risk, it is too easy to be a manager, and the organization will not roll.
I've worked both in US and European "corporate cultures", and I've often been asked about differences. This is one of the differences I often point out: the American tendency to avoid responsibility, and to look for a scape goat. As long as I've a signature of some manager, I'm safe. Or Yes, I know it's foolish, but he's senior management, I'm not going to question him. I think this is also the reason why in the USA there's less initiative coming from the 'lower ranks' that it happens in Europe. Perhaps that's why workers in Europe have the same productivity as US ones, while working far less hours.