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Formal and Informal Organizations

In order to fulfill the basic needs and promote diverse interests of men, a large number of organizations have come up in the modern complex societies. These organizations are of two kinds- the formal organization and the informal organization.

The modern industrialized, urbanized and civilized societies of the world consist of a large number of formal organizations. Due to the complexity in the growth of societies, the number and size of the formal organizations have increased.

They are found in the economic, political, educational, industrial and other fields. Formal organizations represent those organizations which are characterized by a specific function, division of labour, a hierarchy of authority, rationality and a proper arrangement of statuses and role. They are carefully planned and systematically worked out.

It was Max Weber who for the first time made a sociological analysis of formal organization. In his Bureaucracy, Organization, Theory of Social and Economic Organization, Max Weber has provided his conception of formal organization particularly of bureaucracy. The term bureaucracy assumed sociological importance due to efforts of Max Weber at the beginning of the 20th century.

According to Talcott Parsons bureaucracy represents one of the most salient structural characteristics of the modern western society. The relatively large scale organizations with specialized functions can be called bureaucracies.

According to Blau the term bureaucracy has a restricted meaning. They have stated in their formal organizations that the term bureaucracy must be used neutrally to refer to the administrative aspects of organizations.