What is an Informal Organization?


The informal organization is the interlocking social structure that governs how people work together in practice.

It is the aggregate of behaviours, interactions, norms, personal and professional connections through which work gets done and relationships are built among people who share a common organizational affiliation or cluster of affiliations. It consists of a dynamic set of personal relationships, social networks, communities of common interest, and emotional sources of motivation.

The informal organization evolves organically and spontaneously in response to changes in the work environment, the flux of people through its porous boundaries, and the complex social dynamics of its members. Characteristics of the informal organization:


i. evolving constantly

ii. Grass roots

iii. Dynamic and responsive

iv. Excellent at motivation


v. requires insider knowledge to be seen

vi. treats people as individuals

Flat and fluid

i. Cohered by trust and reciprocity


ii. Difficult to pin down

iii. Essential for situations that change quickly or are not yet fully understood

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