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What is the difference between a formal and an informal network?
Of course, a manager uses the formal network to communicate, but should she or he use the informal network to disseminate information to his/her employees?
comment on #1 & #2 3 lines
In organizations, you will have both informal networks and formal networks. Formal networks go through proper channels of communication. You could say that is a chart starting from the CEO and going down to the lowest level of the chart. With Formal networks communication, there are rules to follow which can cause fewer mistakes and be more efficient. With this way of communication is very authoritarian and leaves very little room for creativity. “Formal organizational structure results in creation of superior-subordinate relations.” (Samiksha, 2016, p. 1) One of the advantages is there is a paper trail which is helpful if there are questions later. With this system, a disadvantage is an inflexibility.
Informal network communication as known as the grapevine. We do this with our friends and coworkers all the time. We socialize text, emails, and face to face. When we share our day with our friends we are sharing information in an informal way. Informal networking is communication in a casual way. This way of communication always employees to be more creative. This system can cover gaps that formal communication may not be able to cover. In informal networks, people feel they can share their need more without hesitation and they can build a better relationship between employee and management. “Under the informal system, the employees discuss their problem openly and they can solve it. For this, the work is done properly and it develops the efficiency of the employee.” (The Business Communication, 2017, p. 1)
I feel that manager can give information to their employee both on the formal and informal networkers. I think a lot of information can be done informal but there is some information but might be better formal. If the business in being taken over and jobs could be at stake I think the formal way would be better and then you also answer any of their concerns. If the information is about an office party I don’t think it must be formal.
#2 All workplaces feature a formal communication network where information passes from upper management to the employees. Traditionally, companies utilize formal communication networks to communicate with an organization. Formal networks depend upon the location of the workers, rules of communication and status hierarchy of the employees. Many companies pursue communication flow through an organigram, also known as organogram, which is a diagram of a company’s hierarchy that reflects formal lines of communication.
This formal network may contain information such as new policies and procedures, upcoming management changes and upcoming job postings. Although the formal communication system is the place where management turns to send information, many employees also rely on the informal communication network known as the grapevine.
Although the grapevine is an informal source of communication, it serves an important place in the workplace. Employees sometimes see the grapevine as their own communication system, separate from the management portion of the company. The grapevine has three main characteristics that differentiate it from other communication systems within the company (Hristodoulakis, 2012).
I believe depending on the type of information managers can use informal network to disseminate it. Sometimes letting employees to communicate in their own way and among their closer connections within the company will be more effective than trying to communicate through formal channels. When information is related to the company polices globally and things that all employees need to be aware, formal network might be the best choice. However, when dealing with information that affects change on the company’s culture and expected behavior from employees, informal networks could be more efficient to management.