The Role of Formal and Informal Groups

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The Role of Formal and Informal Groups
Within the University of Phoenix Online
By: Stephen Ruiz

MGT 340 – Organization Theory and Behavior
December 2011/January 2012 – Online Mondays
Professor Robert Schlagheck, MS
January 20, 2012

Formal and informal groups play a significant role within The University of Phoenix Online (UOP). A formal group would be “one defined by the organizations structure, with designated work assignments establishing tasks” (Robbins, 2011, p.276). A typical organizational chart would be an example of a formal group, where places and roles within a hierarchical organization are clearly defined. An informal group would be “neither formally structured nor organizationally determined” (Robbins, 2011, p.276). Informal groups often “develop around social or project groups” (Schatz, 2012). An example of an informal group could be a few employees who chose to take a walk during their break time each morning.

UOP has several formal groups. First, there is a leadership team that is comprised of a Vice President, Senior Directors, Associate Directors and Managers. Their roles are defined and collectively they are in charge of measuring and maximizing productivity and defining organizational objectives. Lately this group has been focusing on employee satisfaction after it was revealed, through employee surveys, that there was a growing dissatisfaction among employees. Things like inflexible work schedules and inconsistent communication from the leadership team were to blame. To improve this situation I would do many of the things this group is doing now but in a more aggressive manner. In addressing the inflexible work schedules, employees are now able to flex time more easily. I would implement alternative work schedules, more specifically, 4-10 work weeks. Regarding the inconsistent communication, we now have all division teleconferences to make the communication more uniform. Again, this strategy has been too...
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