What Is The Difference Between A Formal And Informal Organisation?


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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Formal organization is a fixed set of rules of intra-organization procedures and structures. As such, it is usually set out in writing, with a language of rules that ostensibly leave little discretion for interpretation. In some societies and in some organization, such rules may be strictly followed; in others, they may be little more than an empty formalism.
• To facilitate the accomplishment of the goals of the organization: In a formal organization the work is delegated to each individual of the organization. He/She works towards the attainment of definite goals, which are in compliance with the goals of the organisation.
• To facilitate the co-ordination of various activities: The authority, responsibility and accountability of individuals in the organization is very well defined. Hence, facilitating the co-ordination of various activities of the organization very effectively.
• To aid the establishment of logical authority relationship: The responsibilities of the individuals in the organization are well defined. They have a definite place in the organisation due to a well defined hierarchical structure which is inherent in any formal organisation.
• Permit the application of the concept of specialization and division of Labour, division of work amongst individuals according to their capabilities helps in greater specializations and division of work.
• Create more group cohesiveness
Characteristics of a formal organization
• Well defined rules and regulation
• Arbitrary structure
• Determined objectives and policies
• Status symbol
• Limitation on the activities of the individual
• Strict observance of the principle of co-ordination
• Messages are communicated through scalar chain
Distinction from informal organization
Formal rules are often adapted to subjective interests — social structures within an enterprise and the personal goals, desires, sympathies and behaviors of the individual workers — so that the practical everyday life of an organization becomes informal. Practical experience shows no organization is ever completely rule-bound: Instead, all real organizations represent some mix of formal and informal. Consequently, when attempting to legislate for an organization and to create a formal structure, it is necessary to recognize informal organization in order to create workable structures. However, informal organization can fail, or, if already set in order, can work against mismanagement.
Formal organizations are typically understood to be systems of coordinated and controlled activities that arise when work is embedded in complex networks of technical relations and boundary-spanning exchanges. But in modern societies, formal organizational structures arise in highly institutional contexts. Organizations are driven to incorporate the practices and procedures defined by prevailing rationalized concepts of organizational work and institutionalized in society. Organizations that do so increase their legitimacy and their survival prospects, independent of the immediate efficacy of the acquired practices and procedures. There can develop a tension between on the one hand, the institutionalized products, services, techniques, policies, and programs that function as myths (and may be ceremonially adopted), and efficiency criteria on the other hand. To maintain ceremonial conformity, organizations that reflect institutional rules tend to buffer their formal structures from the uncertainties of the technical activities by developing a loose coupling between their formal structures and actual work activities. - (John Meyer and Brian Rowan, 1976)
[edit] The Hawthorne Experiments
The deviation from rulemaking on a higher level was documented for the first time in the Hawthorne studies (1924-1932) and called informal organization. At first this discovery was ignored and dismissed as the product of avoidable errors, until it finally had to be recognized that these unwritten laws of work of everyday life often had more influence on the fate of the enterprise than those conceived on organizational charts of the executive level. Numerous empirical studies in sociological organization research followed, ever more clearly proving this, particularly during the Human Relations Movement. It is important to analyze informal structures within an enterprise to make use of positive innovations, but also to be able to do away with bad habits that have developed over time.
Reasons for informal organization
There are many different reasons for informal organization:
• Informal standards: Personal goals and interests of workers differ from official organizational goals.
• Informal communication: Changes of communication routes within an enterprise due to personal relations between coworkers.
• Informal group: Certain groups of coworkers have the same interests, or (for example) the same origin.
• Informal leaders: Due to charisma and general popularity, certain members of the organization win more influence than originally intended.
• Different interests and preferences of coworkers.
• Different status of coworkers.
• Difficult work requirements.
• Unpleasant conditions of work.
Managerial organization theory often still regards informal organization as rather disturbing, but sometimes helpful. In the opinion of systems theory and cybernetics, however, formal organization fades into the background and only serves, if necessary, to supplement or to correct. Changes in structure always redevelop because of the conduct and differences among coworkers, and the ability of self-organization is recognized as a natural characteristic of a social system.

The informal organization is the interlocking social structure that governs how people work together in practice. It is the aggregate of behaviors, interactions, norms, personal and professional connections through which work gets done and relationships are built among people who share a common organizational affiliation or cluster of affiliations. It consists of a dynamic set of personal relationships, social networks, communities of common interest, and emotional sources of motivation. The informal organization evolves organically and spontaneously in response to changes in the work environment, the flux of people through its porous boundaries, and the complex social dynamics of its members.
Tended effectively, the informal organization complements the more explicit structures, plans, and processes of the formal organization: It can accelerate and enhance responses to unanticipated events, foster innovation, enable people to solve problems that require collaboration across boundaries, and create footpaths showing where the formal organization may someday need to pave a way.
The informal organization and the formal organization
The nature of the informal organization becomes more distinct when its key characteristics are juxtaposed with those of the formal organization.
Key characteristics of the informal organization:
• evolving constantly
• grass roots
• dynamic and responsive
• excellent at motivation
• requires insider knowledge to be seen
• treats people as individuals
• flat and fluid
• cohered by trust and reciprocity
• difficult to pin down
• essential for situations that change quickly or are not yet fully understood
Key characteristics of the formal organization:
• enduring, unless deliberately altered
• top-down
• missionary
• static
• excellent at alignment
• plain to see
• equates “person” with “role”
• hierarchical
• bound together by codified rules and order
• easily understood and explained
• critical for dealing with situations that are known and consistent
Historically, some have regarded the informal organization as the byproduct of insufficient formal organization—arguing, for example, that “it can hardly be questioned that the ideal situation in the business organization would be one where no informal organization existed.” [1] However, the contemporary approach—one suggested as early as 1925 by Mary Parker Follett, the pioneer of community centers and author of influential works on management philosophy—is to integrate the informal organization and the formal organization, recognizing the strengths and limitations of each. Integration, as Follett defined it, means breaking down apparent sources of conflict into their basic elements and then building new solutions that neither allow domination nor require compromise.[2] In other words, integrating the informal organization with the formal organization replaces competition with coherence.
At a societal level, the importance of the relationship between formal and informal structures can be seen in the relationship between civil society and state authority. The power of integrating the formal organization and the informal organization can also be seen in many successful businesses
Akua Baah-Adade Profile
Akua Baah-Adade answered
A formal organization is the pattern of relationship and task defined by official rules,policies and systems whiles an informal organization is not defined by official ruules and policies
d ds Profile
d ds answered
we only analyze the formal organization. This formal organization is basically
the formal relationships that exist between the employees at the same level and
at different levels. We can consider it to be the same as the hierarchy within the
organization and is represented by the organogram. On the other hand, every
organization also has an informal organization within it which does not appear
in the formal documents. This occurs because an organization is also a social
entity and the social relationships create informal structure. For example if
an employee has two subordinates who report to him in the same manner according
to the formal organization but according to the informal structure, the boss
may like one of his subordinates more than the other one. 
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Generally we know organisation is established with intention to achieve the goal and for this purpose a certain strategy is necessities for this objective and formal organisation having a certain process like setting goal , work process allocating and assigning of work etc where mutual cooperation is concerned and skill to understand the language same work . While in informal organisation different type of work signifies .

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