Maintenance of harmonious human relations in an organization depends upon the promotion and maintenance of employee discipline. No organization can prosper without employee discipline. Discipline has been a matter of utmost concern for all organizations. Maintenance of effective discipline in an organization ensures the most economical and optimum utilization of various resources including human resources. Thus, the objective of discipline in an organization is to increase and maintain business efficiency. Effective discipline is a sign of sound human and industrial relations and organizational health.
The different approaches to employee discipline include,(i) human relations approach, (ii) human resources approach, (iii) group discipline approach, (iv) the leadership approach, and (v) judicial approach.
The employee is treated as human being and his acts of indiscipline will be dealt from the viewpoint of values, aspirations, problems, needs, goals behavior etc. Under human relations approach the employee is helped to correct his deviations. The employee is treated as a resource and the acts of indiscipline are dealt by considering the failure in the areas of development, maintenance and utilization of human resources under the human resources approach. The group as a whole, sets the standards of discipline, and punishments for the deviations. The individual employees are awarded punishment for their violation under the group discipline approach. Every superior administer the rules of discipline and guides, trains and controls the subordinates regarding disciplinary rules under the leadership approach. In Judicial approach, indisciplinary cases are dealt on the basis of legislation and court decisions. The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, to a certain extent, prescribed the correct procedure that should be followed before awarding punishment to an employee in India. No other enactment prescribed any procedure for dealing with disciplinary problems. But over a period of time, a number of principles regarding the basic formalities to be observed in disciplinary procedures emerged, gradually resulting from the awards of several Industrial Tribunals, High Courts and the Supreme Court.