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Difference between Procedures and Rules

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Procedures and Rules are two types of Standing Plan. Procedures are the routine steps to carry out activities in an organization. However, Rules are the specific statements that inform what must and must not be done.

What are Procedures?

Routine steps to carry out activities in an organization are known as Procedures. They are established for repetitive activities. They describe the manner in which an activity is to be performed. Procedures are generally rigid and do not have any scope for creativity. It removes ambiguity in work and makes the work structured and unified.

What are Rules?

Specific statements that inform what must and must not be done are known as Rules. They are formed to maintain, regulate and control the working environment.  They are rigid and do not allow flexibility. If rules are violated, then strict disciplinary actions are taken. It reflects decisions that certain actions must and must not be taken. They are the simplest type of plan which do not require changes from time to time. 

Difference between Procedures and Rules:




Meaning Procedures are routine steps that carry out activities in an organization. Rules are specific statements that inform what is to be done.  
Nature They are broad guidelines under which management can exercise little discretion. They strictly define guidelines, and there is no scope for discretion.
Flexibility They are more flexible than rules. They are rigid.
Effect of violation There are usually no penalties for violation of procedures. There are penalties for violation of rules.
Example Procedure for appraisal in an organization. Rules of ‘No mobile phones’ in factories.
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Last Updated : 25 Jul, 2023
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