Discipline, Indiscipline & Disciplinary Procedure

Discipline simply means order in work and conduct of organizational members. Discipline is necessary in an organization to ensure that all employees of the organization follow the rules, regulations and procedures while carrying out their job.

According to Dale Beach, “Discipline regulates (by reward or punishment) the human behaviour in an organization”

According to Garry Desseler, “Discipline is a procedure that corrects or punishes a subordinate because a rule of procedure has been violated”

Management must maintain discipline in a organization in order to achieve higher productivity and growth, improve human and industrial relationships, resolve workplace conflicts, ensure obedience of employees, maintain cooperation among employees, ensure smooth running of the organization and to keep a check on violation of rules and regulations of the organization.


It refers to the breach of discipline in an organization. It is an act or conduct which is inappropriate or against the welfare of the organization.

Causes of Indiscipline/Misconduct –

  1. Violation of rules and regulations of the organization

  2. Indulging in acts which are detrimental to the organization (thefts, fraud, bribery etc.)

  3. Immoral or Dishonest conduct

  4. Causing damage or loss to the organization

Disciplinary Procedure

Disciplinary Procedure is a structured approach to maintain discipline in an organization and to deal with disobedience at work. It involves –

  1. Presenting verbal and written warnings to employees

  2. Investigating grievances

  3. Issues charge sheets

  4. Handling conflicts

  5. Punishing employees for misconduct

Steps of Disciplinary Procedure/ Process of discipline Step 1Preliminary InvestigationStep 2Issue of Charge SheetStep 3Consideration of the ExplanationStep 4Notice of EnquiryStep 5Suspension with or without PayStep 6Conduct of Domestic EnquiryStep 7Recording of Findings by the Enquiry officerStep 8Awarding of PunishmentStep 9Communication of Punishment

Preliminary InvestigationDetermine the validity and gravity of misconductIssue of Charge SheetIssue of notice of charge describing the misconduct and the person responsible for it and demanding an explanation for the misconduct.Consideration of  ExplanationThe employee receiving the charge sheet may:

  1. Submit an explanation accepting the charges

  2. Submit an explanation rejecting the charges

  3. May fail to provide an explanation

  4. May apply for an extension

Management after carefully considering the explanation of the employee proceeds with the enquiry.Notice of EnquiryAn advance notice indicating the date, time, venue, name of investigating officer is given to the accused demanding oral and documented evidence and witnesses if any, to prove his innocence.Suspension with or without PayDepending upon the gravity of misconduct the worker may or may not be suspended from work until the disciplinary process is completed.Conduct of Domestic EnquiryAn internal hearing is conducted by the employer to ascertain the guilt and look for a just cause to punish the employee.Recording of Findings by the Enquiry officerThe enquiry officer submits his findings to the management which includes –

  1. Procedure of enquiry

  2. Findings

  3. The parties involved

  4. Basis of findings

  5. Documents produced and examined

  6. Charges made and Explanations given

  7. Charges proved and not provedAwarding of PunishmentThe final decision is taken by the management. The punishment of the employee is based on his/her past record in the organization and the gravity of his misconduct.Communication of PunishmentThe final decision is communicated to the accused through a letter containing –

  8. Reference to charge sheet

  9. Reference to enquiry

  10. Reference to findings

  11. Final decision/Punishment

  12. Effective date of punishment

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