Difference between Formal Communication and Informal Communication

Informal communication and Formal communication both can be effective communication for a organization if the Management can handle those properly. Although Informal communication is out of control of Management. But strategic planning may help to make it fruitful for organizational purpose.

Formal Communication: A message coming through the formal channel is known as formal communication.

Informal Communication: A message coming through the informal channel is known as informal communication.

Communication could be verbal – spoken or written, or non-verbal i.e. using sign language, body movements, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact or even with the tone of voice.

In an organization, there are two channels of communication – formal communication and informal communication. People often confuse between these two channels, so here we have presented an article which explains the difference Both of them.

Informal communication

 Difference between Formal & Informal Communication

Formal Communication

Informal Communication

It is based on Formal organizational relationship. It emerges out of social interactions among the people.
Channels of communication are prescribed. Channels of communication depends on individual’s relationship.
It is rigid as deviations are not allowed. It is quite flexible because nothing is prescribed.
Speed of message travel is slow because of formalization. Message travels faster.
Chances of message distortion are low. Messages are often disorted.
It is treated as authentic. It is not authentic even if the message is correct.
It is generally in the written form, it used as documentary evidence is present. No documentary evidence.
Letters, reports, memos, speeches, e-mail, internet, website, etc. are used in the case of formal communication. Usually verbal channels (e.g., face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, gossip, etc.) are used in the case of informal communication.
Generally formal communication moves both downward and upward. It moves towards any direction —upward, downward, side- wise, parallel, etc.
‘Formal Communication’ is the transmission of information in formal organizational structure and in specific direction. It is the communication on the basis of informal relations and understanding among the people at the same or different levels.