1. Non-placement of the right person on the right job which is suitable for his qualifications, experience and training.
2. Undesirable behaviour of senior officials, who may have set a pattern of behaviour which they expect their subordinates to follow; but their expectations are often belied, and an infringement of rules follows;
3. Faulty evaluations of persons and situations by executives lead to favouritism, which generates indisciplined behaviour;
4. Lack of upward communication, as a result of which the thoughts, feelings and reactions of employees cannot be conveyed to the top management. This may lead to aggressive or rebellious behaviour;
5. Leadership which is weak, flexible, incompetent and distrustful of subordinates is often an instrument which makes for the creation of indiscipline among the employees, particularly when a decision is taken in haste and withdrawn under pressure;
6. Defective supervision and an absence of good supervisors who know good techniques, who are in a position to appreciate critically the efforts of their subordinates, who can listen patiently to them, who are capable of giving definite and specific instructions, and who believe in correcting their men rather than in uprooting them;
7. Lack of properly drawn rules and regulations, or the existence of rules and regulations which are so impracticable that they cannot be observed; and the absence of service manuals and a code of behaviour;
8. The “divide and rule” policy of the management, as a result of which friction and misunderstanding are created among the employees which destroy the team spirit;
9. Illiteracy and low intellectual level of workers as well as their social background; for example, there may be indebtedness, drinking habits, casteism and other social evils from which an employee may suffer;
10. Worker’s reactions to the rigidity and multiplicity of rules and their improper interpretation;
11. Workers.’ personal problems, their fears, apprehensions, hopes and aspirations; and their lack of confidence in, and their inability to adjust with, their superiors and equals;
12. Intolerably bad working conditions;
13. Inborn tendencies to flout rules;
14. Absence of enlightened, sympathetic and scientific management;
15. Errors of judgment on the part of the supervisor or top management;
16. Discrimination based on caste, colour, creed, sex, language and place in matters of selection, promotion, transfer, placement and discrimination in imposing penalties and handing out rewards;
17. Undesirable management practices, policies and activities aiming at the control of workers; e.g.: employment of spies, undue harassment of workers with a view to creating a fear complex among them, and the autocratic attitude of supervisors towards their subordinates;
18. Improper co-ordination, delegation of authority and fixing of responsibility; and Physiological and sociological reasons, including misunderstanding, rivalry and distrust among workers and supervisors, an absence of fellow-feeling, a widespread sense of injustice or apathy on the part of the management.
From the above comprehensive list of the causes of indiscipline, it is mostly noncooperation that results in indiscipline.
Various factors like social, economic, political and cultural issues also play a significant role in causing indiscipline.
Henry Fayol observed that, “discipline is what the leaders make it”. Many times indiscipline is due to managerial faults, lapses, thoughtless words, and deeds and poor management.