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Human Resources Management - Managing Discipline

Acts of Indiscipline or Misconduct - Managing Discipline

   Posted On :  14.06.2018 10:31 pm

Misconduct or an act of indiscipline impairs the organization, tarnishes its reputation and leads to employee unrest.

Acts of Indiscipline or Misconduct

Misconduct or an act of indiscipline impairs the organization, tarnishes its reputation and leads to employee unrest. If not tackled immediately, these acts can lead to disciplinary problems.

The basic acts of misconduct or indiscipline in an organization can be categorized as follows:


Attendance is one of the major problems that managers encounter in organizations. It relates to misuse of leave facilities, tardiness and absenteeism. The reasons for attendance problems could be:

1. Incongruence in employee and organizational goals

2. Personality characteristics, like attitude towards work

3. Unpleasant relationship with supervisors and co-workers

4. Ensured job security leading to a relaxed and uninterested approach

On the job behavior

An employee’s behavior should be in accordance with the rules and regulations laid out by the organization. Any behavior that hampers the work of the individual or disturbs the performance of other employees demands disciplinary action. Reasons for such acts of indiscipline can be:

1. Lack of proper upbringing and education

2. Work-related pressures and strained relationships

3. General attitude and personality of the individual


Dishonesty is not only stealing or misusing organizational resources. It could also involve claiming a colleague’s work, cheating, spying, working below potential etc. Dishonesty brings in distrust among the employees and between the management and the employees. The reasons for dishonesty could be:

1. Social and economic pressures

2. Lack of proper upbringing and education

3. Personality characteristics of the employee

4. Biased and subjective performance evaluation systems

Activities that are harmful for the organization

This category includes all those activities that employees engage in, which affect either their on-the-job performance or the organization’s reputation. Unauthorized strikes, criminal activities, and working for a competitor are some of these activities.

Causes of Indiscipline and Misconduct

Indiscipline relates to disorderliness at work and non-conformity to the prescribed rules and regulations of the management. Some of the causes of indiscipline are:
1. When an employee has to perform a job that does not suit his qualifications, experience or aptitude, it can lead to employee frustration and demotivation. This can lead to acts of misconduct like irregular attendance, tardiness at work etc.

2. Strained relationships with the supervisor or with colleagues can force an employee to indulge in acts of indiscipline similar to the ones stated above.

3. Improper  or  biased  evaluation  of  individuals  and  their performance can result in demotivated employees, whom might resort to misconduct to express their dissatisfaction and distress.

4. An efficient, ineffective and closed-door grievance redressal procedure in an organization can result in indiscipline of employees who are dejected and frustrated.

5. Loss of trust or confidence in each other, or in the management, can make employees behave in an indisciplined manner.

6. Lack of proper education and upbringing of the workers can also lead to indiscipline at work.

7. Improper or inconvenient working conditions can lead to acts of indiscipline by workers.

8. Ambiguous working responsibilities, organizational policies and procedures also lead to frustration among employees and result in misconduct. 

9. Social and economic pressures or compulsions, outside the purview of the organization, may also lead to indiscipline and misconduct of employees. 
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