Search the World's Largest Database of Information Science & Technology Terms & Definitions
InfInfoScipedia LogoScipedia
A Free Service of IGI Global Publishing House
Below please find a list of definitions for the term that
you selected from multiple scholarly research resources.

What is Formal Communication

Encyclopedia of Human Resources Information Systems: Challenges in e-HRM
Formal communication is mandated communication representing the legitimate authority of the organization and is reflected by the organizational chart or blueprint.
Published in Chapter:
Orchestrating the Multi-Channel Character of Formal and Informal Communication in "Virtual Teams"
J. Kratzer (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), Roger Th. A.J. Leenders (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), and J.M.L. Van Engelen (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-883-3.ch098
Communication is a basic process of organization. When one conceives the organization as an everchanging system of interactions (White, 1992), one notes that communication aids in the development and maintenance of organizational purposes as its members motivate, inform, and inspire each other. In other words, communication is the ‘nerve system’ that makes organizations and organizational units cohere and permit their members to coordinate all work efforts. It is conventional to make a distinction between the formal and informal aspects of communication in organizations. Informal communication arises from the people’s needs for relatedness, affiliation, and security, and emerges spontaneously, whereas formal communication describes the organizationally blue-printed work-related linkages between employees. Informal communication is ‘emergent communication’ naturally occurring (e.g., Monge & Contractor, 2003). In contrast, formal communication is imposed, or mandated, representing the legitimate authority of the organization and is reflected by the organizational chart (Aldrich, 1976). In the past, communication was solely based on face-to-face contacts. In history there have been several milestones that broadened the number of available communication channels and eased the way of communicating. Since the early beginnings, the predominantly face-to-face communication was gradually complemented with written media, in particular, since the production and use of paper (Johannes Gutenberg 1397-1468). This process gradually spread all over the world. Centuries later, in the 1870s, two inventors, Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both independently designed devices that could transmit speech electrically. The telephone was invented. Again, a century later in the early days of computers, visionaries foresaw offices and factories humming with self-propelled robots. Today, a more likely vision has the firm humming with communicating employees. Most organizations have installed a complex network of interconnected computers that are embedded in a world of cyberspace, complemented with computer-based telephones and videoconferencing technologies. Organizations have now a very broad (and increasingly broadening) choice to orchestrate their formal and informal channels of communication, but at the same time the challenge to properly utilize the manifold possible media ensembles. Research is still in the very early stages to offer insights in how to managerially orchestrate the wide range of communicational channels. This article attempts to shed some light at the determination of media ensembles by formal and informal communication.
Full Text Chapter Download: US $37.50 Add to Cart
More Results
Informal Communication in Virtual Learning Environments
Communication that is institutionally planned and functionally defined.
Full Text Chapter Download: US $37.50 Add to Cart
Trust in Computer Mediated Communication
Strategic and structured communication that follows organizational rules and formats.
Full Text Chapter Download: US $37.50 Add to Cart
eContent Pro Discount Banner
InfoSci OnDemandECP Editorial ServicesAGOSR