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Abhijit Paul ID:- 19IUT0160050 MBA 1st Year (A)

1. What is Discipline?
Discipline is the backbone of healthy industrial relations. The promotion and maintenance of
employee discipline is essential for smooth functioning of an organization. Employee morale
and industrial peace are definitely linked with a proper maintenance of discipline.
Disciplinary action can also help the employee to become more effective. The actions of one
person can affect others in the group. The aim is to examine what discipline is, what the
various aspects of employee discipline are and how positive discipline can be achieved.

2. What is Hot-Stove Rule?

Hot Stove rule is a tool proposed by Douglas Macgregor useful for imposing disciplinary
action in an organization. This rule is analogous to hot red stove which as the following

a) It has a warning.

b) Remains same for every person i-e intensity of pain is same with every person who
touches the stove.

c) Consistent disciplinary action i-e every time you feel the pain as and when you touch
the stove.

Thus, in the context of human resource management we apply this rule as a disciplinary
action against various acts of employees certain points must be kept in mind while applying
this rule.

a) Immediate investigation of fact to determine offence.

b) Previous warning must be given to the defaulter.

c) Disciplinary action must be administered on consistent basis such that employee were
aware about the possible consequences in case of violation of rules of an organization.
For it is required to have clear and transparent set of policies of an organization.

d) Disciplinary action must be directed towards the act the person I-e it should be

Abhijit Paul ID:- 19IUT0160050 MBA 1st Year (A)

Apart from these guidelines one of the major advantages of using hot stove rule in
organizations is that it leaves no place for resentment which is the said to be the permanent
side effect all other disciplinary action used within the organization.

3. What are the Causes of In-Discipline in an Organization?

The common cause of indiscipline in an organization may be examined as follows:

1. Varying Disciplinary Measures:

It is the responsibility of the management to follow standard measures of disciplinary action
to provide justice to all aggrieved. Any discrimination of action may give rise to growing
indiscipline in future. In other words, the judicious function on the part of management must
be free from all bias, privileges or favoritism.

2. Lack of Effective Leadership:

It is very necessary for an organization to provide for an effective leadership to the workers
(subordinates) in order to maintain discipline and seek their cooperation to achieve the
desired objectives. In India, effective leadership could not be provided either by the
management or by the trade unions which caused indiscipline in the unit/industry.

3. Lack of Well-Defined Code of Conduct:

There must be a code of discipline in every organization enlisting sufficient rules, regulations
or customary practices for the guidance and information of all employees. Such code should
be communicated to all concerned parties in its true spirit. To be effective, the code should be
adopted by the joint consultation of managers and the subordinates. In the absence of a well-
defined code of discipline, the disciplinary action emanates from personal whims and
temperaments which create indiscipline.

4. Defective Supervision:
Supervisor is the immediate boss of workers and many disciplinary problems have their
origin in faulty supervision. The attitude and behavior of the supervisor create many
problems. As the maintenance of discipline is the part of supervisory responsibilities,
indiscipline may spring from the want of the right type of supervision

5. Divide and Rule Policy:

Many managers in the business obtain secret information about other employees through their
trusted assistants. The spying on employees is productive only for a vicious atmosphere and

Abhijit Paul ID:- 19IUT0160050 MBA 1st Year (A)

of undesirable discipline in the organization. Henry Fayol has rightly pointed out that
dividing enemy forces to weaken them is clever, but dividing one’s own team is grave sin
against the business.

6. Misjudgment in Promotion and Placements:

Misjudgment in personnel matters like promotion and placements contribute to the growth of
indiscipline in an enterprise. Cases of misjudgment are carefully noted, widely circulated, and
hotly debated by the employees. Expecting discipline from misruled people is not possible.
Sometimes undesired persons are placed on the jobs which make the employees discontented,
and giving rise to the problem of indiscipline.

7. Deferring Settlement of Employee Grievances:

The employee grievances cannot be stayed off by deferring or neglecting their solutions. The
grievances should properly be inquired into and settled by the managers in a reasonable
period. Neglect of grievances often results in reduced performance, low morale and
indiscipline among the employees. Strikes and work stoppages stem in many cases from the
utter neglect of employee grievances.

8. Inadequate Attention to Personal Problems:

Actions or reactions of people are the direct outcome of their attitudes. Attitudes influence
human beings and their activities. Discipline is the byproduct of these attitudes and the
attitude, in turn is determined by the personnel problems of employees. In order to maintain
discipline, understanding of the personal problems and individuals difficulties as well as
counseling with employees is necessary.

4. How Discipline can be maintained in the Organization?

a) Clarify the responsibilities of HR and managers so clear lines relating to employee
relations are drawn.
b) Establish a clear code of conduct that defines acceptable and unacceptable behaviors
in the workplace.
c) Develop a zero tolerance policy for violating the code of conduct and state the
d) Include the steps employees should take to report breach of conduct, such as reporting
the matter instantly to their manager or HR.

Abhijit Paul ID:- 19IUT0160050 MBA 1st Year (A)

e) Give employees incentives to follow the rules. By understanding how obeying the
rules will benefit them, they may be more inclined to comply.
f) Develop a zero tolerance policy for violating the code of conduct and state the
g) Depending on the severity, penalties may include a verbal and written warning,
suspension and termination. State that the rules apply to all levels of the organization,
including management.
h) Include the steps employees should take to report breach of conduct, such as reporting
the matter instantly to their manager or HR. State that prompt and impartial
investigations are conducted on each report to arrive at effective solutions.
i) Hand new employees a copy of the code of conduct when you hire them and give
existing employees an updated copy whenever changes are made to the policy.
Encourage them to read it thoroughly. Instruct them to consult with HR or the
equivalent if they have questions or concerns.