Informal Group Within an Organisation

Topics: Informal organization, Leadership, Sociology Pages: 17 (5996 words) Published: August 29, 2010
QUESTION: Identify an informal group in an organisation. Interact with group members and get their views on the group set up, group members' roles and functions, level of achievement of group goals, challenges facing group cohesiveness/ division in group leader-group member relationship. Informal Groups within an Organisation :( a case study of hospital) Abstract

Organizations contain formal groups which have been put into place by the specific tasks, in order to further the aims of the organisation. In addition organizational management to perform to the formal groups, there are informal groups which can assume an existence in organizations as a result of the mutually shared interests of the individuals who are a part of the organisation. Informal groups exist purely because of mutual interests and have no formal mandate from the organisation. The membership of the informal groups seeks to satisfy some need by belonging to these groups. These needs may include needs for security, knowledge acquisition, informal attempts to shape organisational policy, family, social interaction etc.Top of FormBottom of Form Leadership position in such groups is freely accorded by the group membership based on qualities that are considered to be critical for the satisfaction of the needs of the moment, with changing needs resulting in changes of leadership. Informal groups in formal organizations can be powerful and important because they have the capability of supporting or opposing organisational aims. Organisational managers should attempt to acquaint themselves with the informal groups in their areas of jurisdiction so that informal discussions with these groups may be possible and attempts may be made to change their norms if they prove to be contrary to the organisational aims of Informal groups can be found in any organisational setting including clubs, schools, health care units, industries etc. The motives behind their formation are a part of human nature and it should not be necessary to excessively interfere in the activities of informal groups unless they are proving to be destructive. In this essay, an attempt has been made to take a look at informal groups in organizations with a special emphasis on the informal groups to be found in a hospital ward.

1.1 Introduction
Organisations exist in order to perform useful functions or tasks which will generate revenues or provide a service. In order to achieve organisational missions, teams may be established within the organisation which are organised around a set of objectives. A team or a group is, therefore, considered to be a number of people who have been brought together as a result of a desire to perform some function or accomplish a set of objectives. Groups and teams are formally created in order to provide a remedy for the dysfunction of bureaucratic structures that may be present in an organisation. Segmentation in organizations results in large problems being cut into sub - problems which are then cut into even smaller problems. These problems are then allocated to sub - units or components of sub-units which offer inputs to the problems or tasks and the solution to the whole consists of these inputs. Specially created groups within organizations may horizontally cut across existing boundaries and functions existing within organizations in an attempt to take advantage of lateral linkages. A management team or group with lateral linkages can therefore be created by the corporate management in order to better manage the organisation. Such groups which have been created as a result of the design choices and the development processes in an organisation are different from the informal groups which almost always come into existence in organizations if opportunities exist. The informal groups which can come into being within organizations can come about as a result of common interests, desire to learn and share knowledge and achieve specific objectives. These groups can...

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