Differences between Formal and Informal Communication - QS Study
QS Study

Differences between Formal and Informal Communication

Formal communication and informal communication are the two widely used patterns of communication. Both are useful for performing organizational activities. However, they differ from each other in many respects. The important differences between the two are discussed below:

Formal communication

  • Compulsion: Formal communication strictly follows the officially prescribed rules, regulations, and formalities.
  • Official recognition: Since it fellows official rules, it has official recognition.
  • Essentiality: Formal Communication is essential to communicate organizational goals, plans, policies principles rules, and regulations in the whole organization.
  • Secrecy: Since it follows definite rules and regulations, official secrecy can be fully maintained through it.
  • Delegation of authority: It facilitates delegation of authority by means of established chain of command.
  • Rumor: As it abides by prescribed rules and regulations, there is no scope of creating and spreading rumor.
  • Distortion: In the case of formal communication, there is little or no chance of distorting the message.


Informal communication

  • Compulsion: Informal communication does not follow any set rule, regulation, or formality at the time of communication.
  • Official recognition: It is not officially recognized channel of communication.
  • Essentiality: Informal communication is essential to promote interpersonal relationship and cooperation
  • Secrecy: No secrecy can be maintained here as it does not follow any set rule.
  • Delegation of authority: It has no role in delegating authority.
  • Rumor: Since it is not regulated by any set rule, it frequently creates and spreads rumor.
  • Distortion: Here messages are distorted frequently.