In a restricted sense, it is the act of imposing penalties for wrong behaviour (negative); broadly speaking, it is a condition of orderliness, where employees willingly practice self control and respect organisational rules and codes of conduct (positive). The differences between the two sides of the same coin could be expressed thus:

The differences between positive and negative discipline
P o in t C oncept N e g a tiv e D is c ip lin e I t i s a d h e r e n c e t o e s t a b li s h e d n o r m s a n d r e g u la t i o n s , o u t o f f e a r o f p u n is h m e n t. E m p lo y e e s d o n o t p e rc e iv e th e c o r p o r a t e g o a ls a s t h e ir o w n . R e q u ir e s i n t e n s e s u p e r v is o r y c o n t r o l to p r e v e n t e m p lo y e e s fr o m g o in g o ff th e tra c k . P o s itiv e D is c ip lin e I t is th e c r e a t io n o f a c o n d u c iv e c lim a t e in a n o r g a n is a ti o n s o t h a t e m p lo y e e s w i ll in g ly c o n f o r m t o t h e e s t a b l is h e d r u le s . T h e r e is n o c o n f l ic t b e t w e e n in d iv id u a l a n d o r g a n i s a t io n a l g o a ls . E m p lo y e e s e x e r c is e s e lf c o n t r o l t o m e e t o r g a n is a t io n a l o b je c t i v e s .

C o n f lic t S u p e r v is i o n


Causes of Indiscipline       Absence of effective leadership Unfair management practices Communication barriers Non-uniform disciplinary action Divide and rule policies Inadequate attention to personnel problems


Positive/ Progressive Discipline Approach
The positive discipline, based upon reminders, is a cooperative discipline approach where employees responsibility for the desired behavioural change. The focus is on coping with the unsatisfactory performance and dissatisfactions of employees before the problems become major.


Steps in positive discipline approach
Step 1: An Oral Reminder: The oral reminder supported by written documentation, serves as the initial formal phase of the process to identify to the employee what work problems he or she is having. This reminder is designed to identify what is causing the problem and attempts to correct it before it becomes larger. Step 2: A Written Reminder: If the oral reminder was unsuccessful, a more formalised version is implemented. This written reminder once again reinforces what the problems are and what corrective action is necessary. Furthermore, specific time tables that the employee must accept and abide by, and the consequences for failing to comply, are often included. Step 3: A Decision-making Leave: Here, employees are given a decision-making leave—time off from work, usually with pay—to think about what they are doing and whether or not they desire to continue work with the company: This “deciding day” is designed to allow the employee an opportunity to make a choice—correct the behaviour, or face separation from the company.


The Progressive Discipline Approach
Im p ro p e r b e h a v io u r

D o e s th is v io la t io n w a r r a n t d is c ip lin a r y a c tio n ? Ye s D o e s t h is v io la t io n w a rra n t m o re th a n a n o r a l w a r n in g ? Ye s D o e s th is v io la t io n w a rra n t m o re th a n a w ritte n w a rn in g ? Ye s D o e s th is v io la t io n w a rra n t m o re th a n a s u s p e n s io n ? Ye s Te r m in a tio n

N o

N o d is c ip lin a r y a c tio n

N o

O ra l w a rn in g

N o

W r it t e n w a rn in g

N o S u s p e n s io n


Progressive Discipline Approach
The Red Hot Stove Rule This rule states that discipline should be immediate, consistent, impersonal and should be in writing. Disciplinary Action in India The disciplinary action followed in most Indian companies consists of the following steps:     Issuing a letter of charge Considering the explanation offered by the employee Issuing a show cause notice Holding an enquiry based on” principles of natural justice”


Progressive Discipline Approach
Principle of natural justice : Giving a fair chance to employee to explain his case thoroughly Enabling the employee to cross examine the evidence furnished by management Explain his own point of view without any fear or pressure See that punishment is in line with the offence committed.  Making a final order of punishment consisting of various actions such as: Dismissal Discharge Suspension Demotion to a lower grade Withholding of increments Imposing fines Issuing a warning Initiating follow up action.


Essentials of A Good Disciplinary System
        Rules and performance criteria Documentation of facts Consistent response to rule violations Training of supervisors Prompt action Impersonal discipline Reasonable penalty Follow up

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