In an organization, formation of groups is very natural, whether it is created by the management or by the members of the organizations themselves. The most common reason behind the creation of a group is the urge of people to talk and make their own circle, where they can interact freely, know each other, work unitedly and accomplish the tasks which are being assigned to them. Groups are majorly divided into two categories. First one is the formal group, which are formed by the organization, to fulfill a task. The other one is an informal group, formed by the employees as per their likes, interests, and attitudes.
So we are going to discuss the important differences between formal and informal groups, in this article.
Content: Formal Groups Vs Informal Groups
|Basis for Comparison||Formal Group||Informal Group|
|Meaning||Groups created by the organization, for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task are known as Formal Groups.||Groups created by the employees themselves, for their own sake are known as Informal Groups.|
|Life||Depends on the type of group.||Depends on the members.|
|Structure||Well Defined||Ill Defined|
|Importance is given to||Position||Person|
|Communication||Moves in a defined direction.||Stretches in all the directions.|
Definition of Formal Group
A formal group is a collection of persons, who came together for achieving a specified goal. They are always created with intent to fulfill some official requirement. Formation of the group is done by the management. It possesses a systematic structure, in hierarchical form.
In general, the employees of the organization are divided into groups and a task is hand over to each group. In this way, the task of the group is accomplished along with the fulfillment of organizational goals. The given are the types of formal groups:
- Command groups: The groups that consist of managers and their subordinates.
- Committees: The group of people who are appointed by an organization, to resolve the matters, referred to them are known as Committee. For example Advisory Committee, Standing Committee, etc.
- Task Forces: The group form to carry out a particular task is known as Task Forces.
Definition of Informal Groups
The groups that are created naturally, within the organization, due to social and psychological forces are known as Informal groups. Under this group, the employees of the organization, themselves enter into groups, without the approval of the management to satisfy their social needs on the job.
Nobody wants to live in isolation; people generally create a circle around themselves so that they can interact and share their feelings, opinions, experiences, information, etc. These circles are known as informal groups at the workplace. These groups are formed on the basis of common likes, dislikes, prejudices, contacts, language, interests, attitudes of the members. It includes interest group and friendship group. The communication is faster in such groups, as they follow grapevine chain.
There are no defined rules; that applies to the informal group. Moreover, the group possesses a loose structure. The bond between the members of the group is quite strong, which can be seen when one of the employees is kicked out of the job and all co-members his group goes on strike just to support him.
Key Differences Between Formal and Informal Groups
The following are the differences between formal and informal groups:
- The groups formed by the management of the organization for accomplishing a specific task are known as Formal Groups. The groups that are formed by the employees themselves as per their likes and prejudices is known as Informal Groups.
- The formal groups are deliberately created by the organization, whereas the informal groups are established voluntarily.
- The formal groups are big in size as compared to an informal group. Moreover, there can be sub-groups in a single formal group.
- The structure of a formal group is designed in a hierarchical manner while the informal group lacks structure or say it has no structure.
- In a formal group, the position of a member defines its importance in the group, but in an informal group, every member is as important as any other member.
- In a formal group the relationship between the members is professional, they gather just to accomplish the task allotted to them. On the other hand, in an informal group, there is a personal relationship between members, they share their opinions, experiences, problems, information with each other.
- In a formal group, the flow of communication is restricted due to the unity of command. In contrast to an informal group, the flow of communication stretches in all directions, there is no such restriction.
We generally enter into groups, without knowing that Which kind of group is it? From the above post, hope you have understood the differences between the two kinds of group. Sometimes the members of formal groups and informal groups are same. The basic distinguishing feature between the two is that formal groups are always formed with an objective, but when an informal group is created, there is no such kind of intention at all.