Functions of Social Welfare Administration

Types of Social Welfare Organizations

Social welfare organizations play a vital role in rendering Social Services in every country, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries. There are various kinds of social welfare organizations that differ in ownership, kind of service providers, source of funding and other characteristic differences. In this unit we will discuss about these various types of Social Service Organization and their working.

Formal Organizations

Formal Organizations refer to a structure of well-defined jobs, each bearing a definite measure of authority, responsibility and accountability. Formal Organization lays down the pattern of relationship between individuals and the rules and regulations, which guide the behavior of individuals. Formal organizations follow the functions of POSDCoRBEF in its working.

Informal Organization

Informal Organization is an outcome of social interaction between individuals in a formal organization. Whenever people work together, they evolve informal groups bound together by common, social, technological interest. Such groups constitute informal organization. Informal organization represents relationships between individuals in the organization based on interest, personal attitudes, emotions, prejudices, likes, dislikes, physical location and similarity of work. These relations are not developed according to the  procedures, rules and regulations laid down in the formal organizational structure.

Informal Organization comes into existence because of limitations of the Formal Organization. It represents, “natural grouping of people at work”. The birth of small groups in an organization is a natural phenomenon. These groups may also overlap because an individual may be a member of more than one informal group. In many cases, informal groups come into being to support and supplement the formal organization.

The informal Organizations have the following characteristics:

  • Customary and not enacted.
  • No written rules and regulations.
  • Does not follow an organizational charts in its working.

It must be noted that the informal organization is based on formal structure and cannot exist without it. The informal organization allows an organization a measure of flexibility, which is a functional necessity. However, the greatest weakness of the informal organization is its instability; its changeability and its unpredictability.

Structured Organizations

It is important to note, “An organization is a group of people who are cooperating under the direction of a leader for the accomplishment of a common end”. The need for an organization arises when two or more persons unite together to achieve some common objectives. Organization is one of the basic functions of social welfare administration. Its importance lies in the systematically evolved pattern of relationships designed to set in motion the process of managerial functions.

Structured organizations are those, which are formed, and functioning with a clear structure or framework of relationship. As structure, organization is a network of internal authority, responsibility and relationships. It is the framework of relationships of persons, operating at various levels, to accomplish common objectives.

Thus, a structured organization has got three major elements:

  •  Formal structure
  • Definite authority
  • Clear responsibility

When we think about structured organizations in a social work context, there are many organizations falling under this category. All these organizations have a clear structural framework, be it formal or informal organization. For example, registered social service organizations, social welfare departments and cooperative societies all have a defined structure.

Unstructured Organizations

Unstructured organizations do not have a clear structure or framework. Various committees, community organizations, social action groups are some of the examples of unstructured organizations. They may be formed as per the requirement or given purpose, in order to achieve certain limited goals and objectives. Groups of people come together with the similar objective or ideology to accomplish a specific goal. They work in an unstructured manner, as all of them are equal in the role and duties. These organizations are formed for a short duration and they disintegrate when goals are met or cease to exit due to adverse factors.

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