Difference between Formal and Informal Communication


Difference between Formal and Informal Communication

Difference # Formal Communication:

1. ‘Formal Communication’ is the transmission of infor­mation in formal organizational structure and in a specific direction.

2. The purposes of formal communication are to give orders, convey instructions and fulfill the objectives of the organization through some pre-determined rules and regulations.

3. Letters, reports, memos, speeches, e-mail, the internet, website, etc. are used in the case of formal communi­cation.

4. In the case of formal communication, feedback requires some time due to completion of the formal procedure.

5. Formal communication is time-consuming and costly.

6. It is official and formal in nature.

7. It requires the sanction of the higher authority.

8. Flexibility is not found in it. It is generally rigid in nature.

9. Information is reliable, correct, factual and standard in it.

10. Formal communication is the routine type and systematic.

11. It is generally written.

12. Formal communication being written and structured is transparent. Hence it is reliable.

13. Formal communication flows in a systematic manner according to the procedure. It takes its own time.

14. Generally, formal communication moves both downward and upward.

15. Personal influence is almost nil in such communication.

16. Person giving wrong information can be located and be made responsible for the offense.

Difference # Informal Communication:

1. ‘Informal Communication’ is the communication on the basis of informal relations and understanding among the people at the same or different levels.

2. The purposes of informal communication are to build up an informal relationship through personal contacts, sharing of information, etc.

3. Usually, verbal channels (e.g., face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, gossip, etc.) are used in the case of informal communication.

4 . In informal communication feedback is immediate.

5. Informal communication being verbal is less costly and immediate. Of course, gossip may consume productive working hours.

6. It is unofficial and informal in nature.

7. No sanction of the higher authority is required.

8. It is loose and very much flexible.

9. There is every possibility of information being inaccurate and half true in it and hence it is not dependable and trust­worthy.

10. Informal communication does not follow any struc­tured route or process.

11. It is mostly verbal.

12. Informal communication is less transparent because gossip generates concocted stories and rumor. It lacks reliability.

13. Informal communication is fast-flowing especially in the case of rumors.

14. Informal communication moves towards any direction —upward, downward, side- wise, parallel, etc..

15. Personal influence is the basis of such communi­cation. Personal opinion, suggestion, views, liking, etc. are very important here.

16. No one can be made respon­sible for any distorted infor­mation or rumor as the source of information is difficult to locate here.

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