Misconduct Forms and Causes

Table of Contents:-

  • Misconduct
  • Forms of Misconduct
  • Causes of Misconduct


Violation of the company’s rules and regulations by the employees is termed as misconduct. This not only adversely affects the reputation of an employee but also hurts his career growth. Misconduct doesn’t need to take place within the company premises during working hours but it can take place outside the organization. It has been seen that an employee who is undisciplined remains absent for a maximum period of the company.

The concentration level of that employee also reduces, affecting his performance. There are certain changes in the behaviour of the employee like he starts bothering the authority for the overtime allowances. These all are some of the symptoms of indiscipline which can be easily detected by the management and accordingly, steps can be taken to avoid such acts of misconduct.

Forms of Misconduct

The employees in the company commit different kinds of misconduct.

The different kinds of misconduct that may be practised in any company are as follows: 

1) Slow down the work performance willingly.

2) Willingly disobeying, whether individually or in a group, any lawful or important order of the boss. 

3) Conducting fraud with the business and property of the employer.

4) Arriving late frequently in the office. 

5) Frequent absence from duty without giving a leave application or being absent for a long time without any genuine reason.

6) Indulging in corrupt practices like receiving or offering bribes. 

7) Intentionally damaging the company’s goods and property. 

8) Undergoing any work strike and forcing others to strike in breach of any law.

9) Continuously repeating any action or carelessness, as a result of which a fine can be imposed. 

10) Refusal to work on a job or machinery.

11) Habitual breaking of any rule of legislation which is applicable in the establishment or rule made under it. 

12) Wilfully destroying or altering any company’s record.

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Causes of Misconduct

The causes of misconduct are as follows:

1) Conventional Practices of the Organisation

When a company continuously follows its traditional and outdated practices, then the employees indulge in indiscipline. For example, a stable and inflexible job schedule or work timetable may lead to violating the timetable or schedule.

2) Unfair Treatment

Employee exploitation is generally caused by the biased treatment of the management towards the employees. For example, compensation determination, promotion, job assignment, etc., leads to indisciplined employees.

3) Absence of Proper Code of Conduct

It is the code of conduct that guides the workers in analysing their disciplined and indisciplined behaviour. Sometimes, the employees do not know the elements of misconduct until their superiors communicate the code of conduct to them. This is due to the faulty framing of the code of conduct which creates confusion in employees to figure out the difference between disciplined and undisciplined acts.

4) Improper System of Grievance Redressal

Employees indulge themselves in the act of misconduct so that management gets attracted towards their grievances when an appropriate grievance-handling system is absent in the company.

5) Ineffective HR Policies and Procedures

An ineffective human resource policy may lead to indiscipline and grievance among the employees. Therefore, effective and efficient human resource policies and proceedings are required by the management for controlling grievances and hence the probability of misconduct and indiscipline can be reduced to a larger extent.

6) Pessimistic Perception of Employees and Employee Unions

The management is often destructed by the negative perception of employees and their trade unions. They also underestimate and point out even the good acts of management. As a result, employees become strict against the actions of management in various forms like poor performance and misconduct in their behaviour.

7) Organisational Culture

Organisational culture comprises various features and attributes of an organisation. It influences the system of employee communication among themselves and also with others, e.g., the employer of the company. The company may encounter additional acts of employee indiscipline as a result of enhancing the resistant attitude of employees in the existing culture. On the contrary, the frequency of employee misconduct is often reduced due to the peaceful and congenial culture prevailing in the organisation.

8) Lack of Proper Communication System

A proper two-way communication system is very important in the company to make employees knowledgeable about the future working of the company. It also helps in taking regular feedback from employees about the functioning of the company. However, when such an effective system is absent, a communication gap exists between the employees and their management. Therefore, defective informal channel of communication causes disturbance among the employees leading to misconduct and misbehaviour.

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