Approaches to Managing Organizational Change

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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCHOLARLY ACADEMIC INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY VOLUME 12, NUMBER 1, 2010

Approaches to Managing Organizational Change

Fred C. Lunenburg
Sam Houston State University ________________________________________________________________________ ABSTRACT Much has been written about the nature of change and the best methods to manage it. Based on the research, we now have a better understanding of the steps that must be taken to ensure that change efforts have a significant and lasting impact. In this article, I discuss some of the most well known and popular models of the change process. ________________________________________________________________________

After years of failed change efforts, researchers are saying that knowledge of the change process is crucial. To succeed we need to cognize what we know about successful change before and during the change process. To this end, I will examine five of the most well known and popular models of the change process: Lewin’s three-step change model, Kotter’s eight-step plan, Harris’s five-phase model, Fullan’s change themes set, and Greiner’s six-phase process. Lewin’s Three-Step Change Model Change involves a sequence of organizational processes that occurs over time. Lewin (1951) suggests this process typically requires three steps: unfreezing, moving, and refreezing (see Figure 1).

Unfreezing

Moving

Refreezing

Figure 1. Lewin’s Three-Step Change Model.

1

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCHOLARLY ACADEMIC INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY 2____________________________________________________________________________________

This step usually means reducing the forces acting to keep the organization in its current condition. Unfreezing might be accomplished by introducing new information that points out inadequacies in the current state or by decreasing the strength of current values, attitudes, and behaviors. Crises often stimulate unfreezing. Examples of crises are demographic shifts in



References: Fullan, M. (2011). Change leader: Learning to do what matters most. New York, NY: Wiley. Greiner, L. E. (1967). Patterns of organization change. Harvard Business Review, 45(3), 119-130. Harris, B. M. (1975). Supervisory behavior in education (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

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