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
i. Cohered by trust and reciprocity
ii. Difficult to pin down
iii. Essential for situations that change quickly or are not yet fully understood