10 Difference between Formal and Informal Groups with Table

What is the difference between formal and informal groups?

The formation of groups depends on their functions since some are meant for social needs and another accomplishment for certain duties. Therefore, groups can either be formal or informal.

The article provides the core difference between formal and informal groups with examples for easier understanding. Let’s dive into the topic.

Difference between Formal and Informal Groups

What Are Formal Groups?

Formal groups are those form by official authorities in an organization to fulfill certain objectives. The formation is done by management in an organization.

The group tends to have a systematic structure where each group is assigned a specific task to be accomplished. The tasks tend to flow with the organizational goals.

Formal groups are further divided into:

  1. Command groups tend to comprise of managers and subordinates.
  2. Committees are a group of people appointed to resolve certain matters.
  3. Task Forces is a group that intend to carry out certain tasks.

What Are Informal Groups?

Informal groups are formed by employees of an organization depending on their likes, interests, and attitudes.

The flow of information is such groups tend to be quite fast. Some common types of informal groups are interest groups and friendship groups.

The good news is that there are no rules and such groups tend to foster strong bonds between the members.

Comparison Chart: Formal Vs Informal Groups

Basic Terms Formal Groups Informal Groups
Formation Deliberately Voluntarily
Authority The structure is given by top management The structure is given by members of the peer group
Nature Either permanent or temporal Tend to be permanent
Behavior of Members Based on the rules and regulation set by the management Based on individual and group interest
Communication Pattern Has a systematic communication pattern Has an informal communication type
Supervision Tend to be quite easy Tend to be quite difficult
Superiors Members get pressure from superior authorities There is freedom among members
Size Large Small
Relationship Professional Personal
The importance is given to Position Person

Core Difference between Formal and Informal Groups

  1. The formation of a formal group is deliberate while the informal group involuntarily
  2. Formal groups have well-defined structures whereas the informal group has no structures
  3. The relationship among members of formal groups is professional while that of the informal group in person.
  4. The size of a formal group is large while that of informal is comparatively small
  5. The lifespan of the formal group depends on the group while that of the informal group depends on the members
  6. The leadership of the formal group is official while that of the informal group not official
  7. The formal group has more importance on the position whereas the informal group has more importance of a person
  8. Members of formal groups get pressure from superiors whereas informal groups have a lot of freedom
  9. Supervision of members informal group is quite easy while those in the informal group is quite difficult
  10. The formal group has an official form of communication whereas the informal group has informal communication practices.

Comparison Video


The core difference between the formal and informal group is that formal group has a defined objective whereas informal groups have no objective during their formation. Use the comment section to share your views. Thanks.

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