Principles of Discipline

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Employee discipline: Employee discipline According to Richard D. Calhoon, “Discipline is the force that prompts individuals or groups to observe rules, regulations, standards and procedures deemed necessary for an organization.” Therefore discipline means securing consistent behaviour in accordance with the accepted norms of behaviour. I am sure you will agree that discipline is essential in every aspect of life. It is equally essential in industrial undertakings. Simply stated, discipline means orderliness. It implies the absence of chaos, irregularity and confusion in the behaviour of workers.

Nature of Discipline: Nature of Discipline According to Megginson, discipline involves the following three things. Self-discipline implies that a person brings the discipline in himself with a determination to achieve the goals that he has set for himself in life. Orderly behaviors refers to discipline as a condition that must exist for an orderly behaviors in the organization. Punishment is used to prevent indiscipline. When a worker goes astray in his conduct, he has to be punished for the same and the recurrences of it must be prevented. Discipline can either be positive or negative. Positive discipline involves creation of an atmosphere in the organisation whereby employees willingly conform to the established rules and regulations. Positive discipline can be achieved through rewards and effective leadership. Negative Discipline Under negative discipline, penalties is used to force the workers to obey rules and regulations. In other words, workers try to adhere to rules and regulations out of fear of warnings, penalties and other forms of punishment. This approach to discipline is called negative or punitive approach.

Symptoms of general indiscipline: Symptoms of general indiscipline Change in the normal behaviors, Absenteeism, Increased grievances, Lack of concern for performance, Lack of concern for job late coming etc.

Causes of Indiscipline

Unfair Management Practices: Management sometimes indulges in unfair practices like: Wage discrimination, Non-compliance with promotional policies and transfer policies, Discrimination in allotment of work, Defective handling of grievances, Payment of low wages, Delay in payment of wages, Creating low quality work life etc. These unfair management practices gradually result in indiscipline.

Absence of Effective Leadership: Absence of effective leadership results in poor management in the areas of direction, guidance, instructions etc. This in turn, results in indiscipline.

Communication Barriers: Communication barriers and absence of humane approach on the part of superiors result in frustration and indiscipline among the workers. The management should clearly formulate the policies regarding discipline. These policies should be communicated and the policies should be consistently followed in the organisations. The management should also be empathetic towards the employees.

Inadequate attention to personnel Problems: Delay in solving personnel problems develops frustration among individual workers. The management should be proactive so that there is no discontent among the workers. It should adopt a parental attitude towards its employees. However it should be noted that no relationship can continue for long if it is one sided. Workers should also live up to their commitments. They should be reasonable in their demands.

Victimisation: Victimisation of subordinate also results in indiscipline. The management should not exploit the workers. It is also in the long-term interest of the management to take care of its internal customers.

Absence of Code of Conduct. This creates confusion and also provides chance for discrimination while taking disciplinary action.

The Hot-Stove Rule

The “Hot Stove Rule” of Douglas McGregor gives a good illustration of how to impose disciplinary...
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