THE OPERATIONS OF INFORMAL GROUPS AND THEIR BENEFITS TO ORGANIZATIONS:
An informal group in a set of evolving relationships and patterns of human interaction within and organization which are not officially prescribed. It arises out of spontaneous, personal and social relationships between individuals formed on the basis of personal attitude, values, friendships, similarity of work, likes and dislikes etc.
Informal organizations provide social satisfaction to people and help preserve the integrity of the work group.
Success is management depends on how well informal organizations are put into use. Formal organizations emphasize on positions in terms of authority while informal organization emphasize on social relationships/interactions at workplace.
CHARACTERISTICS OF INFORMAL ORGANISATIONS
i. They are unofficial arising spontaneously without official sanctions by management.
ii. They arise through social interaction between people within the organization.
iii. They are structure less and ill-defined.
iv. Their tasks and goals are mainly centered around individuals and group satisfaction.
v. They are personal with emphasis on people and their social relationships within the organization
vi. They have unwritten conventions and norms.
vii. They find no place in organizational charts and manuals.
viii. They are relatively unstable and unpredictable based on man’s quest for social satisfaction.
ix. One person can be a member of several informal groups of his choice.
THE BENEFITS OF INFORMAL GROUPS TO AN ORGANISATION
1. Provision of social satisfaction
Informal organizations give employees recognition status and further opportunity to relate to one another. They therefore provide an outlet for employee relations.
2. Provides an additional channel of communication (grapevine)
3. Assists in accomplishing work by reducing managerial workload especially where thee manager has the full support from the informal organizations.
4. Help remove weaknesses that may exist in the formal organizational structure: there is usually a longer communication channel in the formal structure and therefore information may take much longer to reach the lower levels of management. Grapevine that exists in the informal structure will ensure that the workers are updates as far as the information needs are concerned.
5. It lengthens the effective span of management resulting in reduced supervising costs.
6. It encourages better management since informal organizations blend well with the formal systems to make a workable system for getting work done.
7. It gives stability and satisfaction to the work group since it acts as a means by which workers achieve a sense of belonging and security.
8. It acts on a safety valve for workers’ destinations and other emotional problems.