INFORMAL ORGANIZATION - MEANING, FEATURES, ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

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In an organization, individuals are assigned different job roles. 

However, while working in these job positions, people engage with one another and build a friendly and social network within the organization.

These are called informal organizations

More appropriately, Informal organizations are the social interaction and social groups formations that occur naturally and automatically without any human influence.

It can also be defined as the relationship between members of an organization based on their interpersonal interaction. 

Informal organisation is usually driven by the personal objectives and goals of the members of the organization.

Informal organization is the social relationships that exist that arises at any time and in any place where there is formal organization.

Informal organizations are not pre-planned and do not exist as a consequence of managers' deliberate efforts; rather, they emerge naturally as a result of the organizational environment.

Informal organisations are generally not created by formal organisations but arise from the personal and social relationships of members of the formal organization.

So, if there is no formal organization, there will be no informal organization.

FEATURES OF INFORMAL ORGANIZATION

1. Not deliberately created: informal organization is not created by any formal authority.

It arises naturally out of the personal and social interaction of members of an organization. 

2. Not based on rules: Formation of the informal organization is natural and occur simultaneously, it is not based on any laid-down rules or regulations.

3. Cannot be represented on an organizational chart: The interpersonal relationship that exists in informal organisations cannot be represented on an organisations chart.

This is because informal organizations do not have a set hierarchy of authority. It only occurs naturally

4. Membership is voluntary: Membership in an informal organization is voluntary since it emerges spontaneously rather than as a result of management' deliberate actions.

5. Found in every organization: Informal organizations are found in every organization since human interaction is unavoidable.

6. Purpose: The main purpose of informal organizations is to provide employees with psychological satisfaction that got from formal organizations and the organizational environment.

7. Depends on the formal organization: The existence of an informal organization depends on the formal organization.

ADVANTAGES OF FORMAL ORGANIZATION

1. Acts as a medium of communication: Informal organization is the best form of employee communication since it allows employees to feel more informed about what is going on in the company.

In an informal organization, grapevine communication ensures that employees are informed about what is going on

Through the informal organization, employees can also gather to discuss work and non-work issues that affect them.

It provides a forum for employees to express their feelings regarding events within the organization.

2. Provides a sense of belonging: Informal organizations provide a sense of belonging to employees by allowing them to feel more connected to what is going on in the organization.

Furthermore, informal organizations allow organizational members to interact socially, which is not completely possible informal organizations.

3. Aids in the socialization of new employees: On-boarding is the socialization of new workers into the workplace and it is best achieved through the informal organization.

The social interaction, social contact and grapevine, which are available informal organizations, can help socialize new employees by informally passing job roles, job expectations and basic objectives

4. Help managers: Informal organization provides a platform where employees can coordinate and cooperate among themselves.

This, to an extent, relieve the managers of the burden of directing, leading and coordinating subordinate to achieve organizational goal.

Furthermore, the informal organization also provide managers with the means of understanding the employee's grievance because everyone can freely express their feelings in the informal organization

DISADVANTAGES OF INFORMAL INTERACTION

1. Spread rumours: While informal organizations provide a platform for everyone to express themselves, they may also be used to propagate misinformation, which can be detrimental to achieving organizational goals.

2. No structure: Unlike formal organizations, which have deliberately created structure, informal organizations lack structure. It only occurs spontaneously.

There is no clear structure in place for achieving organizational goals because of the ambiguity in the structure of informal organizations.

3. Emphasis on individual interest: Informal organization gives precedence over the interest of individual more than the interest of the organization.

This goes against the principle of subordination of individual interest to organization interest as emphasized by Henry Fayol.

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Conclusion

Informal organizations are very important for the smooth running of formal organizations, but, they can be disadvantageous as they can be used to spread rumours.

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