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Definition of Discipline

Discipline means systematically conducting the business by the organizational members who strictly adhere to the essential rules and regulations. These employees/ organizational members work together as a team so as to achieve organizational mission as well as vision and they truly understand that the individual and group aims and desires must be matched so as to ensure organizational success. A disciplined employee will be organized and an organized employee will be disciplined always. Employee behavior is the base of discipline in an organization. Discipline implies confirming with the code of conduct established by the organization. Discipline in an organization ensures productivity and efficiency. It encourages harmony and co-operation among employees as well as acts as a morale booster for the employees. In absence of discipline, there will be chaos, confusion, corruption and disobedience in an organization.

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.

According to Ordway Tead, Discipline is the orderly conduct of affairs by the members of
an organization who adhere to its necessary regulations.

According to Megginson, discipline involves the following three things. (I) Self-discipline.
(II) Orderly behavior. (III) Punishment.

In short, discipline implies obedience, orderliness and maintenance of proper subordination among employees. Work recognition, fair and equitable treatment of employees, appropriate salary structure, effective grievance handling and job-security all contribute to organizational discipline. Maintenance of discipline is a prerequisite to the attainment of maximum productivity, not only of the firm but also for the entire nation

Types of discipline
Discipline is classified as either positive or negative. Characteristics are as follows: Positive discipline

It implies a sense of duty to observe the rules regulations and is also called self discipline.

ii. iii. iv. v.


It involves creation of a favorable atmosphere in the organization where by employees willingly conform to the established rules and regulations. Positive discipline can be achieved through rewards and effective leadership. It is more effective than negative discipline. Positive discipline promotes cooperation and coordination with a minimum of formal organization and reduces the need for personal supervision required to maintain standards According to Spiegel, "positive discipline does not replace reason but applies reason to the achievement of a common objective. Positive discipline does not restrict the individual but enables him to have a greater freedom in that he enjoys a greater degree of self-expression in striving to achieve the objective, which he identifies as his own."

Negative discipline It is also known as punitive or corrective discipline involves imposition of penalties or punishment to force workers to obey rules and regulations objective is to ensure that employees do not violate the rules and regulations. Negative disciplinary action involves such techniques as fines reprimand, demotion, layoff, transfer etc. Negative discipline does not eliminate undesirable behavior, it merely oppresses it. It requires regular monitoring causing wastage of time. Punishment also causes resentment and hostility. While exercising negative discipline, management should proceed in a sequential manner viz. an oral reprimand, a written reprimand, a warning, temporary suspension and dismissal or discharge.

Progressive and development oriented managers adopt a positive approach to discipline rather than negative approach. In the positive approach, attempts are made to educate the workers the values of discipline. The workers should be taught self-discipline. Disciplinary action should be taken only in exceptional circumstances where no other alternative is left. Disciplinary action should always incorporate consideration of just cause and due process.