Meaning cliques, bands, friendship groups, peer groups,

Meaning of Informal Organisation: ‘Informal Organisation’ refers to a small group the members of which are tied to one another as persons.

The group is characterised by informal and face-to face relations, mutual aid, coopera­tion and companionship. The members of informal organisations work together not in their official capacities, but as persons. They share their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows. Examples : Groups such as – ‘Gangs’ ‘cliques’, ‘friendship groups’, ‘peer groups’, ‘Bands’, etc., represent the informal organisations. People are not only the members of formal organisations but also are connected with informal organisations. Members of the formal organisations such as banks, colleges, universities, business houses, hospitals, army, etc., are likely to develop informal relations among themselves.

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These in­formal relations contribute to the development of informal organisations. But the same kind of infor­mal relationship may not be formed among all. Example: A formal organisation such as a college may consist of hundreds of members.

All these members do not have among themselves the same kind of relationship. We may find among them several small groups, cliques, bands, friendship groups, peer groups, each consisting of a limited few. The members of each such group may always move together, play together, study together, see movies together, sit together, and study together inside the class rooms and so on. Their tastes, interests and attitudes may also be more or less similar. These groups represent informal organisations.

These informal organisations may be formed on the basis of ethnic groups, religious, caste and linguistic groups, regional origins, schools or colleges from which they have passed or fraternities to which they belong. A formal organisation may consist of a number of informal organisations. The informal organisations consist of only rules and not statuses. Here there is no authority but only leadership. Esteem is awarded to persons independently of the statuses they occupy.

Their membership is lim­ited. Still they are relatively permanent. Informal relations of the members last for a longer time. Informal organisations have their own unwritten norms of behaviour. They have their own ways of Correcting and punishing the violators of the norms. Though they are smaller in size they give strength to the formal organisations to function effectively.

These informal organisations resemble Cooley’s ‘Primary Groups’ and Sumner’s ‘In-groups’.


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