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Difference between Procedures and Rules

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  • Last Updated : 21 Dec, 2022
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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.

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:




MeaningProcedures are routine steps that carry out activities in an organization.Rules are specific statements that inform what is to be done.  
NatureThey are broad guidelines under which management can exercise little discretion.They strictly define guidelines, and there is no scope for discretion.
FlexibilityThey are more flexible than rules.They are rigid.
Effect of violationThere are usually no penalties for violation of procedures.There are penalties for violation of rules.
ExampleProcedure for appraisal in an organization.Rules of ‘No mobile phones’ in factories.
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