Maintenance of discipline is a prerequisite to the attainment of maximum productivity, not only of the firm but also for the entire nation. It is only because of this that. After all everything is a matter of realization. No amount of pressure can succeed in the long run unless one is committed to improve or learn.
True discipline is educational because it changes the very attitude of the workers towards their work and workplace. It must, therefore, be understood that discipline must be developed from within. Another important point that you should note here is that discipline has to be reformative and not punitive. We should aim at development rather than punishing. I am sure that you will adhere to something that is explained to you in a calm and matured way rather than that is ordered! According to Megginson, discipline involves the following three things.
Let us examine these terms: Self-discipline implies that a person brings the discipline in himself with a determination to achieve the goals that he has set for himself in life.
Orderly behaviour refers to discipline as a condition that must exist for an orderly behaviour in the organization.
Punishment is used to prevent indiscipline. When a worker goes astray in his conduct, he has to be punished for the same and the recurrences of it must be prevented.
The need for disciplinary action felt everywhere-be it at home, in the school, university or an organisation whenever one breaks the rules. Remember, either your own or some other children’s behaviour in the shopping centre. You would have observed the various ways the parents use to discipline their rambunctious children in the shopping centres.
The Three prominent ways are discussed below:
- Some children well understand the proper behaviour expected of them in the shopping centre and behave accordingly. They remain all the time stick to their parents. They neither touch, pull, push any item nor demand instantly for ice-cream, toy etc. Obviously, such children do not need to be disciplined. They gracefully accept no for an answer. Perhaps you were one of them.
- You might have seen other children also treating the supermarket a place for fun and play, screaming and hollering, running up and down, here and there, and, thus, creating trouble for everyone concerned. Faced and annoyed with such behaviour, some parents react angrily, subjecting the child publicly to verbal and physical abuse.
- These parents by shaking their fingers and fits try to sternly warn the sobbing child that repeated rowdiness will result in further stem punishments. The child has, thus, been struck with the fear of punishment, at least for the time being till in the shopping center.
- Like your parents, other parents apply a different approach to discipline their children showing such inappropriate behaviour. They take calmly their child aside and clearly explain what type of behaviour is expected of them and how their misconduct creates problems and inconvenience to, other customers and shopkeepers.
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 freedom but enables him to have a greater degree of self-expression in striving to achieve the group objective, which he identifies as his own.”
It means that positive Discipline is not that ideal that it can’t be achieved. It also does not imply that an individual’s freedom is restricted. Rather it provides better chances to an individual for expressing himself. The individual in this process, is able to bridge the gap between his and the group goals.
It is also to be noted that positive discipline promotes cooperating and coordination with a minimum of formal organization. It reduces the need for strict supervision required to maintain standards and observe rules and regulations. Everyone is answerable to oneself and therefore one is not answerable to anyone else.
- It is the creation of a conducive climate in an organization so that employees willingly conform to the established rules.
- There is no conflict between individual & organization goals.
- Employees exercise self control to meet organization objectives.
Under negative discipline, penalties are used to force the workers to obey rules and regulations. In other words, workers try to adhere to rules and regulations out of fear of warnings, penalties and other forms of punishment. This approach to discipline is called negative or punitive approach.
This is an unfavorable state that subjects the employees to frustration, and consequently results in low morale. Let me ask you a question, how will you react if you are punished for a wrong act of yours? Will you welcome it? I am sure it would be much better that an environment is created where one does not commit any wrongful act. If at all there is some indiscipline, it has to be handled in a calm and matured way.
There is another drawback related to negative discipline. An employee goes astray in his behaviour whenever there is a slightest possibility of escaping the punishment or when he believes that his action will go unnoticed.
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.
- It is adherence to established norms & regulations, out of fear of punishment.
- Employees do not perceive the corporate goals as their own.
- Requires intense supervisory control to prevent employees from going off the track.