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Insubordination

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macaroonie
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Insubordination

Postby macaroonie » Wed, 22 Feb 2012 9:19 am

I first heard of this concept in Singapore. What exactly is insubordination and what are the consequences? Does it exist in western countries aswell?

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Re: Insubordination

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 22 Feb 2012 9:55 am

macaroonie wrote:I first heard of this concept in Singapore. What exactly is insubordination and what are the consequences? Does it exist in western countries aswell?


If you ever served in the army, it is a common word !!! I was on the fringe, and cringe to hear that word.

Well, in Singapore Inc, while it is not used often, you have to show some 'serious attitude' to have that word thrown at you .. which, normally is resolved by having a one-to-one with the manager, if it was due to some misunderstood instructions, or some 'perceived' bo chap' attitude - i.e. 'don't care' attitude . ..

But, letting it go quite can lead to one of the causes for 'termination' ..

All my life in Singapore, I saw one person fired, but no more .. but that word gets dropped often to make things work .. fortunately, never that word is uttered in my current work place ..

BTW, from MOM site ..

An employer may, after an inquiry, terminate an employee's services without notice if the employee is found guilty of misconduct by failing to fulfil the expressed or implied conditions of employment.

Inquiry to follow the rules of natural justice:

no man shall be a judge in his own cause
no man shall be condemned unheard

Misconduct refers to a breach of duty or discipline which is inconsistent with the express or implied conditions of an employee's contract of service. Examples of misconduct are theft or dishonesty, disorderly or immoral conduct at work, willful insubordination etc.

If the employee has committed an act of misconduct, the employer should conduct an inquiry before deciding whether to dismiss the employee or to take other forms of disciplinary action.

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Re: Insubordination

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 22 Feb 2012 10:16 am

macaroonie wrote:I first heard of this concept in Singapore. What exactly is insubordination and what are the consequences? Does it exist in western countries aswell?


Yes, it "exists" in the US. It is a concept, what do you mean by consequences? Specifically the military ones? Or a kid and his parents?

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Postby macaroonie » Wed, 22 Feb 2012 10:22 am

I was more interested in exploring what insubordination meant in the workplace as i hear this term quite often amongst asian bosses. One even said that the subordinate can not disobey the boss or talk back or confront the boss openly, does anyone have any experience on this?

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Postby ecureilx » Wed, 22 Feb 2012 10:28 am

macaroonie wrote:I was more interested in exploring what insubordination meant in the workplace as i hear this term quite often amongst asian bosses. One even said that the subordinate can not disobey the boss or talk back or confront the boss openly, does anyone have any experience on this?


You read my post ??

"..... you have to show some 'serious attitude' to have that word thrown at you .. which, normally is resolved by having a one-to-one with the manager, if it was due to some misunderstood instructions, or some 'perceived' bo chap' attitude - i.e. 'don't care' attitude . .. "

Does that help ?

If boss is using that word often, it shows a wee bit too much of insecurity ..

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 22 Feb 2012 10:29 am

"Insubordination is the act of willfully disobeying an authority. Refusing to perform an action that is unethical or illegal is not insubordination; neither is refusing to perform an action that is not within the scope of authority of the person issuing the order.
Insubordination is typically a punishable offense in hierarchical organizations which depend on people lower in the chain of command doing as they are told."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insubordination

Wikipedia talks all about it. From your specific example though:

One even said that the subordinate can not disobey the boss or talk back or confront the boss openly, does anyone have any experience on this?


Even in the US in large MNCs that are "nearly impossible" to get fired from thanks to ridiculous amounts of legal precedent and fearful HR groups, insubordination such as you describe would not be welcome. I would suspect direct insubordination (as you describe) would result in minimally a warning. Repeated examples would quickly lead to termination.

Out of curiosity, where are you from that your culture or working environment does not have such a concept?

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Postby therat » Wed, 22 Feb 2012 10:57 am

My American ex-director who re-located from USA to Singapore, always like to say "If you don't listen to me, I can fire you any time"

Isn't that American culture?

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 22 Feb 2012 11:37 am

therat wrote:Isn't that American culture?


Most large companies (especially those in say California) have a culture where it is almost impossible to be fired. I'm pretty sure at my last job I could pretty much just refuse to do work and it would take them months to fire me due to the HR processes that needed to be followed. (Warnings, written warnings, performance improvement plans, etc)

Sure, someone high enough who was mad could likely expedite the process, but that normally didn't happen unless you specifically violated certain policies or committed certain offenses.

Chances are someone who walked around saying things like that either worked for a very small company, or is full of shit.

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Postby breakfastforthebestfood » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 12:38 am

zzm9980 wrote:Most large companies (especially those in say California) have a culture where it is almost impossible to be fired. I'm pretty sure at my last job I could pretty much just refuse to do work and it would take them months to fire me due to the HR processes that needed to be followed. (Warnings, written warnings, performance improvement plans, etc)


This applies for termination with cause, but if the company is reducing positions, those with an attitude are often first to go.

ecureilx wrote:If boss is using that word often, it shows a wee bit too much of insecurity ..


I agree with this.

While in the military though, I would sometimes ask directly if the subordinate with an attitude was "refusing to work." This put the choice for willful insubordination on back them. :twisted: I've seen this approach used in union shops as well.


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