MEANING OF DISCIPLINE


MEANING OF DISCIPLINE               

 Mines Vocational Training Centre Malanjkhand Copper Project  tottakomnair@gmail.com
Discipline has been variously defined as : ‘to train to obey implicitly an order’,

‘ to train to behave in accordance with rules and regulations’

‘to bring under control’,

‘an orderly way of doing things’

‘established learning’.

However, none of these definitions can compress within itself such a vast and comprehensive concept as ‘Discipline’; hense all he above phrases emphasise only one of its aspects.

The word disciplineowes its orgin to religion, but it was in the army that it helped achieve spectacular results. When big battles were won not by the numerically superior army, that but by the one that had better disciplined soldiers who has a very high morale, a more intense motivation to win, and had the benefit effective leadership, popular imagination marveled at such achievements. Discipline thus came to be equated with the army.


In order setting, in the present days of mass production and ginat industrial complexes, where Productivity is the key to survial, we have factories employing even a few thousand workers. To achieve he avowed aim of higher productivity would invariably mean ‘working together’ with managers, supervisors, colleagues and subordinates by our industrial workers. If we do not have any rules of conduct, or set standards of behavior when we work together in a factory, there would be chaos. Therefore, certain rules of behavior are framed for the proper attainment of the objectives, i.e., higher productivity and maximum production. Discipline in the factory is conducive to effective realization of the objectives of an organization.  To a certain extent, all concerned conform to these established rules of behaviour or conduct. Should or conduct. Should there be violations of such established rules from any quarter, discipline would go down to some extent, deflecting from the achievement of the avowed objectives.

 

The prime need to maximize production in industry and the desperate need to fulfil production trargets lead some persons to believe that the army type of discipline can also be enforced in industry, with equal success. We shall, however, see as we go along, that the objectives of an army and those of industry are different, that there are structural and functional differences between the two and, that above all, thee are basic difference in the means of discipline maintenance, which warrant a reorientation in our thinking on discipline in industry.  The following are the basic prerequisites of discipline in the industrial setting:

 

1.        The goals or objective should be clearly stated. The rules must, in clear and unambiguous terms, specify the standards expected of the workmen;

2.        Specific and clear rules and regulations should be in existence;

3.        Such rules and regulations should be communicated to and must be understood, in the same terms, by those who enforce the rules and those who have to obey such rules;

4.        The enforcement authority must be specified;

5.        The procedure for appeal by an aggrieved party should be specified;

6.        The quantum of prescribed punishment should be known;

7.        Immediately on joining service, and employee should be made to under stand these rules;

8.         The rules of conduct must contain provision for investigation and settlement of grievance, arising out of and during the course of employment.

 

If the above pre-conditions exists and the procedures are administered with objective fairness, the chances are that, given cooperation and good will from both the sides, coupled with a solution-finding approach, there will be a higher tone of discipline, for the benefit of all concerned.

 

WHERE IS DISCIPLINE?

To many, work is worship. It is a truism to say that the modern industrial society of is built on hard work, be it in large factories, firms, libraries, laboratories or just in road-building.

 

But why do we all work, in the first place?

 

We all work to earn to satisfy our physical needs. No doubt, a majority of us look upon work as he main or only source of livelihood. Others consider work as a status symbol, as it helps them to build and maintain their status in society.

 

To some work is a creative activity, which satisfies some ‘inner carving’ in their personality. There have been painters, who went on painting till their bodies just could not carry on. There are industrial workers, who will turn out only top-class work, irrespective of the economic returns or other rewards. To such people work is worship, a way to achieve their objective of personality development which ultimately leads to self-actualization.

 

But in a present day factory, where a few thousands of workers assemble every day to perform their assigned duties, it would be difficult to assign a single reason to explain why the entire work force has come to work. We shall later on see that human motivation to work is a very complex phenomenon and, consequently, the problem of discipline maintenance is rendered more difficult. Hence, it is not easy to prescribe a single rule for maintaing discipline for all.

 

Let us go round factory ‘A’.  If we were to visit the plant, office canteen and sports field, dramatic club, and the indoor games room, we will be able to gauge the level of discipline, as on a foot rule, but we will be able to feel the tone  of discipline that pervades the work situation.

 

However, there are some useful indicators  which help us to assess the level of discipline in a plant.

 

It may be stated that just as disciplined behaviour is the end result of not one but multifarious factors, similarly indiscipline in a plant is the result of multifarious causative factors, given below:

 

Rate of absenteeism: The all-India average rate of absenteeism, among the working class, is rather high with seasonal spurts. If, in a given plant, the rate of absenteeism is constantly on the high side, discipline is lacking to that extent;

Labour turnover : Increased labour turnover is a sure indication of lower discipline.

High rate of sickness and accidents: In fact, aches and pains of various kinds come in very handy to say away from workplace, which are “accidents” technically. If the rate of such sickness and accidnts is higher in a particular factory, the causes may be traced in the level of discipline;

Multiple unresolved grievances: If grievances pile up unresolved, the disgruntled men will demoralize the others, thus lowering the tone of discipline.

State of industrial relations: It is a sure guide to determine the level of discipline in the plant. If there exist sound union and management relations, and the workers are happy and contented, the discipline among the workers will be high, and vice versa;]

Low output, faulty outturn, and lower productivity : It is amazing how in discipline among the work force eats into the quality of the  product, and its volume, and overall productivity, though carelessness which gradually pervades the whole plant. Lower man-machine utilization ratio, greater number of interruptions in the smooth flow of production higher wastege figure, unexecuted backlog of orders, all go to show that discipline is at its lowest;

Motivation and morale : Distinguished from the concerete and tangible indices of discipline mentioned above ae the intangible factors that cannot be seen, yet the miraculous effects or otherwise of the same can be felt  Motivation denotes the intensity of the urge to accomplish the objective, while morale is the group feeling about that objective. If the work group is highly motivated, the tone of discipline will be high if it is saging, discipline will be lower, as well.

The “we-feeling” in the work-group : In many factories, the workers fully participate in such programmes as sports, drama, festivals, suggestion schemes, and cooperative societies sponsored by the management. Similarly, management. Similarly, managers also participate in the cultural programmes organised by the workers. This mutual participation indication includes a high degree of integration of ideas and objectives and consequent high discipline. If such a feeling is absent, we know what it means.

 

Where is Discipline?

To many, work is workship. It is a truism to say that them modern industrial siciety is built on hard work, be it in large factories, firms, libraries, laboratories or just in road-building.

 

But why do we all work, in the first place?

 

We all work to earn money to satisfy our physical needs. No doubt, a majority of us to look upon work as the main or only source of livelihood. Others consider work as a status symbol, as it helps them to build and maintain their status in society.

 

To some work is a creative activity, which satisfies some ‘inner craving’ in theirrr personality. There have been painters, who went on painting till till their bodies just could not carry on. There are individual workers, who will turn out only top class work, irrespective of the economic returns or other rewards. To such people work is worship, a way to achieve their objective of personality development which ultimately leads to self-actualization.

 

But in a present day factory, where a few thousands of workers assemble every day to perform their assigned duties, it would be difficult to assign a single reason to explain why the entire work force has come to work. We weshall later on see that human notivation to work is a very complex phenomenon and, consequently, the problem of discipline maintenance is rendered more difficult. Hense, it is ot easy to prescribe a single rule for maintaing discipline for all.

 
Let us go round factory ‘A’. Of we were to visit the plant, office, canteen and sports field, dramatic club, and the indoor games room, we may not be able to gauge the level of discipline, as on a footrule, but we will be able feel the tone on discipline that pervades the work situation.
 

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