Types of Groups: Formal and Informal

Groups Types

There are two types of Groups: Formal and Informal. While formal groups are established by an organization to achieve its goals, Informal groups merge spontaneously. Formal groups types are Command groups, Task groups, Functional group. And Informal groups are as follows: Interest group, Friendship groups, Reference group.
groups types

Formal Groups

1. Command Group: Command groups are specified by the organizational chart and often consist of a supervisor and the subordinates that report to that supervisor. An example of a command group is a market research firm CEO and the research associates under him.

2. Task Group: Task group consists of people who work together to achieve a common task. Members are brought together to accomplish a narrow range of goals within a specified time period. Task group are also commonly referred to as task forces. The organization appoints members and assigns the goals and tasks to be accomplished. Examples of assigned tasks are the development of a new product, the improvement of a production process, or designing the syllabus under the semester system. Other common task group are ad hoc committees, project group, and standing committees. Ad hoc committees are a temporary group created to resolve a specific complaint or develop a process that is normally disbanded after the group completes the assigned task.

3. Functional Group:

A functional group is created by the organization to accomplish specific goals within an unspecified time frame. The functional group remains in existence after the achievement of current goals and objectives. Examples of the functional group would be a marketing department, a customer service department, or an accounting department.

Informal Group

The informal group can have a strong influence on organizations that can either be positive or negative. For example, employees who form an informal group can either discuss how to improve a production process or how to create shortcuts that jeopardize quality. The informal group can take the form of interest groups, friendship group, or reference group.

1. Interest Group: Interest group usually continue over time and may last longer than general informal groups. Members of the interest group may not be part of the same organizational department but they are bound together by some other common interest. The goals and objectives of group interests are specific to each group and may not be related to organizational goals and objectives. An example of an interest group would be students who come together to form a study group for a specific class.

2. Friendship Group: Friendship groups are formed by members who enjoy similar social activities, political beliefs, religious values, or other common bonds. Members enjoy each other’s company and often meet after work to participate in these activities. For example, a group of employees who form a friendship group may have a yoga group, Cricket player group, Fans associations.

3. Reference Group: A reference group is a type of group that people use to evaluate themselves. The main objective of the reference group is to seek social validation and social comparison. Social validation allows individuals to justify their attitudes and values while social comparison helps individuals evaluate their own actions by comparing themselves to others. The reference group has a strong influence on members’ behavior. Such groups are formed voluntarily. Family, friends, and religious affiliations are strong reference group for most individuals.