Managing change is important in seeking the final component of successfully managing strategy, process, people and culture in most modern organizations. More and more, staying competitive in the face of demographic trends, technological innovations, and globalization requires organizations to change at much higher rates than ever before. Few people will argue with this statement, but fewer still will say their organization does a good job at managing those changes. Managing change well is a continuous and ongoing combination of art and science that assures alignment of an organization¡¦s strategies, structures, and processes (Worley & Vick, 2005). Theories of Change Management
Lewin¡¦s Change Model
Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) was a social psychologist whose extensive work covered studies of leadership styles and their effects, work on group decision-making, the development of force field theory, the unfreeze/change/refreeze change management model, the ¡§action research¡¨ approach to research, and the group dynamics approach to training (Mark, 1999). Kurt Lewin's three step change model is applied to the implementation of organizational change. If change is needed in an organization and the individuals affected by this change are asked to participate in the implementation of it, the change has a greater chance of being not only implemented but also successful. The first step of Lewin's model tells us how to minimize barriers to change and increase the odds of a successful change effort. The second step is the movement that takes place after people have bought into the need for change. The final or refreezing step of Lewin's model calls for the change agents to work actively with the people in the organization to install, test, debug, use, measure, and enhance the new system (Levasseur, 2001). Appreciative Inquiry
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) developed by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva is an approach to organizational change that engages the entire system in a discovery process about what works well within the organization (www.new-paradigm.co.uk, 2005). AI brings to light an appreciation of the organization, by focusing on values, assets, strengths, best practices, successes and innovations that give life to the organization. AI is a tool for discovering the best of what an organization wants to preserve and carry into the future, while expanding the possibilities for the future, and envisioning what might be the desired future (Szecsey, 2005). The tangible results of the inquiry process are a series of statements that describe where the organization wants to be, based on the high moments of where they have been. Because the statements are grounded in real experience and history, people know how to repeat their success and envision a future based on the reality of the actual past. The entire system maintains the best of the past by discovering what it is and stretching it into future possibilities (Szecsey, 2005). Action Research
Action research, which entails the application of the scientific method to real-world participation in processes being researched, is often used for affecting corporate cultural change programs. The collaborative nature of action research allows researchers the advantage of assessing an organization's culture from the perspective of the people who will be affected by the process of change. Policy changes are based on the observations of researchers and feedback is used to diagnose the effect of changes to establish corrections. The action research approach is good for those trainers favoring student participation in the learning process and allows trainers to overcome the constraints training packages which leave no space for participants to influence course content (Lee, 1990). Action research has also been presented as a promising approach for academic inquiry because of its focus on ¡§real world¡¨ problems and its ability to provide researchers with data for knowledge...
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