Understand The Difference Between Formal and Informal Communication

In an organization, there are basically two ways of communication namely:

  • Formal and
  • Informal communication

Below explain their differences and characteristics:


  • Communication takes place through the formal channels of the organization structure along the lines of authority established by the management.
  • Such communications are generally in writing and may take any of the forms; policy; manuals: procedures and rule books; memoranda; official meetings; reports, etc.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Formal Communication:

The advantages of formal communication are:

  • They help in the fixation of responsibility and
  • Maintaining of the authority relationship in an organization.

The disadvantages of formal communication are:

  • Generally time consuming, cumbersome and
  • Leads to a good deal of distortion at times.


  • Communication arising out of al those channels of communication that fall outside the formal channels is known as informal communication.
  • Built around the social relationships of members of the organization.
  • Informal communication does not flow lines of authority as is the case of formal communication.
  • It arises due to the personal needs of the members of n organization.
  • At times, in informal communication, it is difficult to fix responsibility about accuracy of information. Such communication is usually oral and may be covered even by simple glance, gesture or smile or silence.

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