In this article we will discuss about the causes of indiscipline in an organisation with suggestions to check it.

Causes of Indiscipline:

It is the conduct and behaviour of the management or leaders in the organisation that give birth to indiscipline.

The common cause of indiscipline in an organisation 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 organisation 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 organisation 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 behaviour 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 of undesirable discipline in the organisation. 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 counselling with employees is necessary.

9. Victimisation and Excessive Pressures:


Sometimes, the manager or the supervisor develops ill-feeling in him about some persons and victimises them in his own way. It contributes to indiscipline. Moreover, the supervisor puts excessive pressure of work on the employees under his strict control which they feel suffocative.

10. Other Causes:

There may be certain other causes of indiscipline among the workers. Economic, social and political factors may influence the disciplinary problem in the organisation because industry is a part of the social and political system of the country. Political leaders very often use the work force for their own political interests. Social environment also influences the workers’ disciplinary problem.

Suggestions to Check Indiscipline:

The problem of indiscipline among the industrial workers is the main concern of the organisation which should be removed as early as possible. For the maintenance of effective discipline, the contributory causes of indiscipline should be removed and favourable conditions be created.


The following measures should be adopted in checking indiscipline:

1. Condonation of Past Offences:

The real purpose of disciplinary action is to prevent the recurrence of future offences of similar nature. As far as the past offences are concerned, they should be allowed to be condoned after a prescribed time limit. An opportunity should be given to employees to rectify their faults. The employer should always try to seek cooperation from the employees.

2. The Discipline Committee:


Minor cases in which reprimand rebuke or warning is required may be settled by the supervisor or the manager, but where the offence requires a grater punishment, discipline committee should adjudge the case to ensure the unbiased justice to the employees and the employer.

3. Agreement as to Disciplinary Rules:

A code of discipline should be prepared and adopted with the approval of employees; unilateral action should not be taken by the management in framing the rules and regulations for maintaining discipline. A code of discipline duly approved by the representatives of the trade unions and of the management can avoid certain unhappy consequences and impose self-discipline.

4. Investigations by Personnel Department:

The Discipline Committee cannot successfully work unless it gets the full facts of the case. Such facts should be collected and supplied by the personnel department, because the personnel department has the specialised staff for rendering expert service and advice on personnel matters in the organisation.

5. Other Suggestions:


Besides the above preventive and curative measures to meet indiscipline in an organisation, a few other measures may help:

(a) Each worker, as an individual should be paid fair or reasonable wages sufficient to maintain him and his family in good health and spirit.

(b) Trade union leadership should be developed from within the rank and file of workers. Such a leader may well understand the feelings and reactions of the fellow workers so that he may be able to put their demands in a right manner.

(c) Personnel Policies such as policies for recruitment, transfer, promotions or placement should be made realistic and progressive.

(d) Each worker in an organisation should be ensured sufficient security for employment, Deniable economic reward for good work, fair treatment and other kinds of support from his employer. It will encourage him to perform better on the job.