This is one that is deliberately created to perform a specific task. Members are usually appointed by the organization, but it may not always be the case. A number of people assigned to a specific task form a formal group. One example of such a group sis a committee and other examples are work units, such as a small department, a research and development laboratory, a management team or a small assembly line. A distinctive feature of formal groups is that a hierarchy of authority exists, with specified member rules and regulations. Rules, regulations, incentives and sanctions guide the behavior of small groups, brings out the contributions of formal groups. Standing task group and task group are two variations of formal groups.
A standing task group, also known as command group, is permanently specified in the organizational structure and consists of a supervisor who exercise formal authority over subordinates. The foreman and his group of subordinates constitute a command group.
A task group is a temporary formal group that is created to solve specific problems. The group comprises employees who work together to complete a particular task or project, but who do not necessarily report to the same supervisor. The employees belong to different departments. They stay together till the task is completed and once the work is completed, the task group usually disbands and members return to their respective task groups.
Contributions of formal groups
Contributions to organizations
I. Accomplish complex, independent tasks that are beyond the capabilities of individuals.
II. Create new ideas
III. Coordinate interdepartmental efforts.
IV. Solve complex problems requiring varied information and perspectives.
V. Implement action plans.
VI. Socialize and train newcomers.
Contributions to individuals
I. Satisfy needs for affiliation.
II. Confirm identity and enhance self-esteem.
III. Test and share perceptions of social reality.
IV. Reduce feelings of insecurity and powerlessness.
V. Provide a mechanism for solving personal and interpersonal problems