Difference between Formal Communication and Informal Communication

Formal and informal communication both are important and effective. Formal communication strictly follows rules and regulation prescribed by organization. On the contrary, Informal communication does not maintain any rule and regulation.


Formal and Informal communication both can be effective communication for a organization if the Management can handle those properly. Although Informal communication is out of control of Management. But strategic planning may help to make it fruitful for organizational purpose. However, Differences between Formal communication and Informal communication can shown on the following aspects:


Difference Between Formal Communication and Informal Communication
DifferencesFormal Communication Informal Communication
01. Rules In Formal communication, Organizational rules are strictly followed. It does not generally follow the rules of organization
02. Recognition Such communication requires officials recognition.In informal communication, It does not require any officials recognition.
03. Flexibility It is inflexible in nature as it cannot be changed when desired.Being flexible, It can be changed easily.
04. Secrecy Such Communication is not free and open to all. So, Secrecy is maintained here.It is free and open to all, So it is very difficult to maintain secrecy here. i.e.Grapevine communication which spread informally. 
05. Time & Cost It follows various rules of organization. So, It requires much time and cost.Informal communication does not bother for the formalities of organization and therefore it requires less time and cost.
06. Record Keeping This type of communication involves written procedure, So record can be kept in formal communication.Permanent record is impossible here because almost nothing is written here.
07. Errors or Mistakes Very careful attention is given here in encoding the message and sending the message through formal way. Due to this seriousness, there is less chance of placing mistakes or errors.It is personal in nature and therefore less attention is involved which can cause many errors or mistakes.
08. Compulsion It is bound to follow the formal rules of communication.There is no pressure here to follow any rules.
09. Necessity Formal communication is necessary to achieve organizational goal.Informal communication is necessary to improve personal relation.
10. Delegation or Authority Authority can be delegated through formal communication.Authority can not be delegated through such communication.