Organizational Change Models
Grand Canyon University: LDR 615
March 12, 2014
Organizational Change Models
It is common knowledge by now that change is inevitable. It is everywhere around us. Change can be fun, for example when a new version of the iPhone comes out. However, when change affects what we do everyday, there usually is a lot of skepticism and resistance to change involved. Apple employees were sure to feel enormous pressure as the sales of iPhones skyrocketed. To implement change on an organizational scale it is always a good idea to have a framework for building upon. Using change models can guide leaders through organizational changes and help pave their way to the future. This article discusses and compares two change models, Lewin’s Change Model and Bridge’s Transition Model with emphasis on the role of the leader during change, how to overcome resistance to change, and the communication. Lewin’s Change Model
Lewin’s Change Model is a three-step approach to change that involves unfreezing the situation, changing it, and then refreezing (Levasseur, 2001). The first step is involved in reducing the forces that maintain the status quo and undoing the current approach. Presenting a problem can create an occurrence for people to recognize the need for change. The second step involves the transition to change. Here, we move from old ways of doing things to new ways. This is where new behaviors are developed as well as values and attitudes. The final step involves refreezing the change, where changes are accepted and become the norm. Role of the Leader
The first step, unfreezing the situation, is the catalyst for increasing the pressure to change and search for new solutions. The role of the leader is to first get people to see the need for change, then to explain the problem and the necessity for change to maintain organizational integrity. This not only is informative, but also increases motivation. Gathering input for solutions and participation from those affected by the change in this stage is crucial in acceptance of the change. The role of the leader also includes providing visionary leadership that enables the change process (Levasseur, 2001).
In an effort to overcome resistance to change it is necessary to keep people affected by change in the know. Explaining the need to change and creating a sense of urgency will help to motivate people to change. It is necessary to inform people about the proposed changes and its impact prior to the introduction of the new changes. This will not be an easy step as people are participating in changes and making mistakes along the way (Connelly, 2014). Support is essential in this step and can be in the form of training and coaching. Communication
Communication is vital to change throughout all the steps in Lewin’s Change Model. First, the idea for change must be shared with others to validate reasons and get people to buy-in to the new idea. Initiating change without those affected being knowledgeable of the change and reasons for it will most likely be resistant to the change (Connelly, 2014). Upfront communication will be more receptive if people affected by change are brought onboard to participate in conversations about the problem, its effect on this person, and the organization as a whole. These conversations bring forth ideas that enhance or improve proposed changes and can help to reduce barriers and minimalize the resistance to the change (Levasseur, 2001). Strengths and Weaknesses
Kurt Lewin’s Change Model has been criticized for being too simplistic as organizational change is a continuous open-ended process (Burnes, 2004). The thoughts are that change should not be a fixed and stable process but rather a part of a complex and repetitive learning process. A second criticism of this model is that it is only relevant to incremental change and not for radical transformational...
References: Burnes, B. (2004). Kurt Lewin and the planned approach to change: A re-appraisal. Journal of
Management Studies, 41(6)
MacKinnon, L. (2007). Book review: Managing transitions by William Bridges. Think
Differently! Retrieved from http://www.think-differently.org/2007/05/book-review-
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