Lewin's Change Theory

Topics: Kurt Lewin, Action research, Human resource management Pages: 4 (1273 words) Published: April 11, 2013
Lewin’s Change Theory
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The significance of Lewin’s change theory lay not in the formality of the theory itself but rather on his ability to conceptualize real situations and as a result come up with models that reflect ideal situations. Kurt Lewin cut a niche for himself as one of the pioneers of the applied, organizational and social psychology. Born Kurt Zadek Lewin in September 9 1890, he is acknowledged as the founder of social psychology and among the first people to study organizational development and group dynamics. He lays claim to the term action research which he coined in 1944 to try and explain the effect of social action and the factors that lead to the same. A spiral circle that comprises of action, planning and fact-finding was employed in Lewin’s action research. He also classified the leadership climates into democratic, authoritarian and laissez-faire and also came up with an equation that later came to be acknowledged as psychology’s most widely known formula (Schein, 1995). With all these achievements in his career, it is an open secret why Kurt Lewin’s theory of change is so popular to date. This article seeks to explain in detail the change theory while analyzing situations whereby modern-day human resource managers can apply the law in their day to day dealings with their human capital. A scholarly review is also to be provided at the end of the article. Change Theory

The change theory is arguably Lewin’s most influential theory following its model of the process of change in the human systems. According to the theory, change is a process and it takes place in three major stages. To begin with, in order for change to take place, one has to overcome inertia and group mentality and annihilate existing mind set (Schein, 1995). This is the first step towards change and is called “unfreezing” according to Lewin’s theory. In unfreezing, defense mechanisms are skirted in an attempt to enhance...
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