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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
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LESSON # 4
IMPLICATIONS OF KURT LEWIN MODEL
Implications of Kurt Lewin Model
1. Change can be directed, managed and controlled (Learning is a choice behaviour)
2. There is an explicit recognition to the fact that change will be resisted
3. This resistance can be overcome thru management and good leadership
4. Sequence of event also matters
5. Change Attitude ­ behaviour will follow
6. Change the context ­ behaviour will follow this implies B = f( P * E)
1. Change can be directed, managed and controlled (Learning is a choice behaviour)
Every thing is not pre-ordained and predetermined. Modern thinking is scientific or formulaic.
There is a general formula for everything with in the domain of natural sciences or social sciences.
Therefore what is known as social sciences is that tools and methods used for creating scientific
knowledge can also be applied to create knowledge in social domain. Therefore learning such type
of abstract social disciplines such as entrepreneurship, leadership, management and organization
culture from scientific approach means these very subjects can be taught and learned. So in this
respect modern approach is different from the traditional one as now learning is considered not a
function of gene or inheritance but a matter of aptitude and interest. Hence social behaviour can be
managed like a thermostat or control valve to get the desired end. For instance, these control valves
may reside in financial and non-financial techniques to motivate individual manager and groups.
2. Explicit recognition that change will be resisted
There are a lot more benefits of categorical acceptance, admission or recognition of some variable
under research. In fact research has more to do with the identification of critical variable which play
influential role in the causation of any phenomenon, and earlier was less focussed upon. Therefore
once we know and recognise that resistance to change is distinct phenomenon for study, we will
also study and target imperatively how to overcome this resistance. This is a typical technique of
Western academics to bifurcate and focus in a specialised (in depth study) manner to create new
subjects and disciplines. In other words division of labour exist in academics.
3. The resistance can be overcome through management and good leadership
As pointed out above once we know resistance is a critical variable to study simultaneously make
imperative for us to know what type o leadership and management style will over come what type
of resistance. Hence we see that change management literature most of the focuses on the
participative decision making, employee involvement, delegation, decentralization and team
building etc. for organization to manage organizational transformation and strategic management
programme.
4. Sequence of event also matters
The model also depicts that change management process has a sequence to it. In order to manage
planned change we ought to know what should come first, which stage is follow another and how to
identify which change management stage we are in like a life cycle approach
5. Change attitude - behaviour will follow
First we have to seek differentiation between the two terms, attitude and behaviour. The concept
`attitude' is more comprehensive than the term behaviour which included cognitive as well action
orientation while behaviour is defined only in action perspective. Therefore going by this approach
in order to have meaningful change we have to change first attitude. Hence change in cognition will
lead to behavioural change. Alternate approach could be to change action which will eventually
lead to attitudinal change. Here focal point for change is actions since actions are visible and
measurable. The former change method is democratic in spirit while later is autocratic in nature.
There is a flaw from methodological point of view, to measure change; the dominant paradigm of
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Change Management ­MGMT625
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western social sciences is to target action. For instance scientific school of theory building (by and
large rely on quantitative approach or survey method) it is the action which is the source of data and
evidence, intent cannot be measured. From Islamic perspective of human behaviour it is the intent
(Niyyat) which matters most not the action (Amal) as the famous hadith goes - action depend upon
intents (innamul aamal-o-binniyaat). This is somewhat closer to the recently researched concept of
equi-finality which means different actions can be taken or multiple practices can exist to reach the
same intent effectively.
6. Change the context ­ behaviour will follow [B = f (P * E)]
Environmental forces play decisive role in shaping behaviour, is the key theme of the equation
cited. Change in behaviour is owing to a particular context or situation. This relies on contingency
school of management which means organizational efficiency and effectiveness is contingent upon
environmental factors ­ will be different for different organizations. These factors could be size,
type of industry, technology, etc. If environmental or contextual factors are so powerful and
decisive to explain change or stability then does that mean individual (individual organization) has
least or no role, priority, discretion or strategy in deciding for change. This leads us to the debates
between fatalism vs. determinism, the role of individual vs. institution and the universal vs. cultural
perspectives of management. Context again comprises of multiple facets Historical ­social-political
­geographical ­ cultural context
A Critical Look
No human knowledge is foolproof. Theories have good explanation power and associated
weaknesses too. Though Kurt Lewin model widely quoted and respected but also has attracted
some criticism which follows as under:
1. Linearity assumption. It is assumed that change is considered linear while we see in real life it is
seldom linearity based. Reality more often than not is non-linear or curvilinear. There may be ups
and downs in reality, and hence change management is not as neat and sequential process as
described in the model, directly progressing for goals or end state.
2. Progressive state assumption. Change makes a direct progression, that is, future state is always
better than the present state. This is an assumption may not hold valid especially going by the
human, organizational and nations life cycle theory based explanation.
3. Mechanistic assumption. This is based on cause and effect relationship amongst factors
considered stimuli for change. This is too excessively deterministic in its implications meaning
thereby no or little role for unforeseen and emergent events.
4. Goal Assumption. Here change movement is directed toward a specific end-state (in real life may
be haphazard). In real life people are not all the time purposive and task oriented for each and every
movement. People may value leisure, relationship, spiritual and cultural being, or they may like
change for the sake of change ­ as others are changing so one wants to change (life style or social
pressure oriented but might not be need-specific). Similarly people may want to change because
emotional or psychological aspect may be dominant
5. Separateness assumption. Change movement is planned and managed by people by staying apart
from system while real life operates in relative terms and diagnosis and implementation is by
remaining within the system. There are biases and ethnocentrism involved in all stages of change
management process.
Nonetheless despite the above criticism the model is considered to have seminal influence on
behavioural modification, learning and change management literature. Other similar models given
under also verify the Lewinian model and change management strategies. For example according to
Beckhard & Harris (1977) there are three stages of change management process
1. The Current State
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Change Management ­MGMT625
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2. The Transition state
3. The Future State
Kanter at al, proposed three phases as:
1. Change Strategists
2. Change Implementers
3. Change Recipients
Grimley et al & Prochaska et al conceived the following by adding one stage as pre-contemplation
1. Pre-contemplation (Unaware of need to change)
2. Contemplation (Need to change but no commitment)
3. Action
4. Maintenance
More or less in similar meanings Lynn A. Isabella's Model suggested
1. Anticipation
2. Confirmation
3. Culmination
4. Aftermath
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Table of Contents:
  1. COURSE ORIENTATION:Course objectives, Reading material, Scope of the subject
  2. BENEFITS AND SIGNIFICANCE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT:Traditional management domain
  3. KURT LEWIN MODEL: ASSUMPTIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Change Movement, Refreeze
  4. IMPLICATIONS OF KURT LEWIN MODEL:Sequence of event also matters, A Critical Look
  5. SOME BASIC CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS:Strategic change, Logical incrementalism
  6. TRANSACTIONAL VS. TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP:Micro-changes, Organisation Development
  7. THEORIES OF CHANGE IN ORGANISATIONS
  8. LIFE CYCLE THEORY:Unit of Change, Mode of change, Organisation death
  9. TELEOLOGICAL THEORIES OF CHANGE:Unit of change, Mode of Change, Limitations
  10. DIALECTICAL THEORIES OF CHANGE:Unit of Change, Strategic planning
  11. A DIALECTICAL APPROACH TO ORGANISATIONAL STRATEGY AND PLANNING:
  12. LIMITATION OF DIALECTICS; DA AND DI:Overview of application of dialectics
  13. THEORIES OF CHANGE IN ORGANISATIONS
  14. APPLICATION OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY:Managerial focus
  15. FURTHER APPLICATION OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORIES:Criticism
  16. GREINER’S MODEL OF ORGANISATIONAL– EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION
  17. GROWTH RATE OF THE INDUSTRY:CREATIVITY, DIRECTION, DELEGATION
  18. COORDINATION:COLLABORATION, The Crisis
  19. ORGANISATION ECOLOGY:Structural Inertia, Internal Structural Arrangements, External Factors
  20. CLASSIFICATION OF ORGANIZATIONAL SPECIES:Extent of Environmental Selection, Determinants of Vital Rates,
  21. FOOTNOTES TO ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE:Stable Processes of Change, Rule Following, Conflict
  22. SOME COMPLEXITIES OF CHANGE:Superstitious Learning, Solution Driven Problems
  23. ORGANIZATIONAL ADAPTATION:The Entrepreneurial problem, The Administrative Problem
  24. PROSPECTORS:Analyzer, Reactors, Adaptation and Strategic Management
  25. SKELETAL MODEL OF ADAPTATION:Determinants of Adaptive ability, The Process of Adaptation
  26. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Nature of Change, The Importance of Context, Force field Analysis
  27. Management Styles and Roles:Change Agent Roles, Levers for managing strategic Change
  28. SYMBOLIC PROCESSES:Political Processes, COMMUNICATING CHANGE, Change Tactics
  29. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Pettigrew & Whipp’s Typology, Context on X-axis (Why of change)
  30. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Attributes of SOC Model, Implications for Management
  31. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Flow of Information, Recruitment, SOC Process
  32. Determinants of a Successful Change Management:Environmental, Management Orientation, Management Orientation
  33. Higgins 08 S Model – An Adaptation from Waterman’s Seven S model:Strategy, Systems and Processes, Resources
  34. IMPLEMENTATION AND STRATEGIC CHANGE: CONSTRAINING FORCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGIC CHANGE (CASE STUDY OF XYZ COMPANY)
  35. IMPLEMENTATION AND STRATEGIC CHANGE: CONSTRAINING FORCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGIC CHANGE (CASE STUDY OF XYZ COMPANY)
  36. WHY IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIC CHANGE IS SO DIFFICULT?:Change Typology, Technical Change
  37. IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES:Attributes of incremental change,
  38. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE
  39. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE:Definition of Leadership, Follower Work Facilitation
  40. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE:Recognize the challenge
  41. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE
  42. IMPLEMENTATION: PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM MODEL:Features of Radical Change, Theory of P-E model
  43. CHANGE IMPLEMENTATION: OD MODELS:The Transactional Factors
  44. CULTURE, VALUES AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE:Significance and Role of Values, Values Compete
  45. ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES, CULTURE AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE:Issues in Change Management