Elton Mayo

Topics: Sociology, Management, Informal organization Pages: 2 (406 words) Published: February 20, 2014

Informal organisations arose as a result of the Hawthorn studies which were conducted in the Western Electric Organisations in the 1930s. The founding father of these studies was Elton Mayo. These studies showed that Informal Organisation arises from social interaction. In other words, these studies showed that informal organisation is an official network of personal and social relations not established by formal authority but arising spontaneously as people associate with one another.

The principal distinguishing feature between informal organisation and formal organisation is that, informal organisation puts emphasis on the importance of people and their relationships. On the other hand, formal organisation emphasises official positions in terms of authority and responsibility.

Functions of Informal Organisations

A lot has been written about the functions of informal groups. Some of these functions have been listed as follows.

1. Informal groups make concerted efforts to preserve their beliefs, values and life styles. Doing so enhances their group solidarity and group standards.

2. Informal groups act as fertile grounds for social satisfactions.

3. Informal groups also act as communication networks through which members needs and wants are discussed.

4. Informal groups are essential tools for controlling the behavior of group members. They cultivate feelings of patriotism which are vital for the overall success of the group.

Problems of informal organisations

1. Resistance to change: An Informal Organisation tend to maintain and continue cultural values and life styles of its members. Its members behave like a closed shop and tend to maintain the status quo.

2. Role conflict: For instance, it might function to provide facilities such as good canteens etc. However, if workers spend extra-hours in the canteen, productivity may decline to the disadvantage of both employers and the...
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