Formal And Informal Organisations

Formal organisation is a planned structure which represents the officially established pattern of relationships among individuals, groups, sections, units, departments and divisions so as to accomplish the goals of the enterprise. Typically, it is represented by a chart and set forth in organisation manuals, position descriptions, and other formalised documents. The formal organisation provides a broad framework and delineates certain prescribed functions and the relationships between them. 

Formal organisation may be defined as a system of consciously coordinated activities of two or more persons towards a given objective. It is a group working together cooperatively under authority toward goals that mutually benefit the participants and the organisation. Moreover, stable and consistent relationships promote order and facilitate planning and controlling functions. Formal organisation may also be defined as (i) the pattern of formal relationships and duties, the organisation charts, job descriptions and positions guides; and (ii) formal rules, policies, work procedures and similar devices adopted by management to guide employee behaviour in certain ways within the structure of formal relationships.

The formal organisation facilitates the determination of objectives and policies. Communication, delegation of authority, and coordination take place according to a prescribed pattern. In fact, formal structure restricts and circumscribes the area of operations of individuals working within an organisation. Informal organisation refers to relationships between individuals in the organisation based on interest, personal attitudes, emotions, prejudices, likes, dislikes, physical location, similarity of work, etc. The informal organisation comes into existence because of the limitations of the formal structure. It represents natural grouping of people in working situation. The birth of small groups in an organisation is a natural phenomenon. The informal groups may also overlap because an individual may be a member of more than one informal group in many cases. Informal groups came into being to support and supplement the formal organisation indeed, the formal and informal organisations are inextricably interlinked. The difference between the two aspects of organisational life is only analytical and it should not be given undue emphasis.

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