ESSAY: Formation of Groups

What are the differences between formal and informal groups? Why should managers pay attention to informal groups?


Formation of Groups

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Groups in the workplace play a critical role in shaping the future of an organization. A group is either formal or informal in nature. Formal groups are established by official authorities of the company to attain a specified objective while informal groups are established by workers as per their likes and prejudices. The two types of groups exhibit a number of differences.

First of all, formal groups are purposely formed by the management of the company to execute a specific obligation, whilst informal groups are created by employees out of their own volition. In terms of capacity, formal groups are relatively large while informal groups are comparatively small because subgroups can be formed out of one informal group. The structural design of a formal group is well defined and in hierarchy form, whereas informal groups possess no structure. The significance of individuals in the formal group is defined by the position they hold in the group while in informal groups, each member is equally important as the other (White, Currie & Lockett, 2016). Additionally, the relationship between members of a formal group is strictly professional since they only meet to discuss and accomplish the set goals. On the other hand,…

 Managers should pay attention to informal groups because although such groups are hard to manage, they play vital roles in the well being of the organization (Rajwani, Lawton, & Phillips, 2015). If properly utilized, informal groups can play a significant role in ensuring a successful change process by easing the flow of information across the organization. It is the responsibility of every manager..


White, L., Currie, G., & Lockett, A. (2016). Pluralized leadership in complex organizations: Exploring the cross-network effects between formal and informal leadership relations. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(2), 280-297.

 Rajwani, T., Lawton, T., & Phillips, N. (2015). The “Voice of Industry”: Why management researchers should pay more attention to trade associations. Strategic Organization, 13(3), 224-232.

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