Organizations large and small undergo change almost on a constant basis. It has been said that the only constant is change. Organizations must change in order to survive in today's global marketplace. Organizations from the smallest of mom and pop businesses to the largest multinational corporations must utilize change management principles. Change management theories are part of the process of change management in business. There are different change management theories that have been developed over the years.
Change Management Theories
One of the early change management theories was a three step model developed by Kurt Lewin in 1947. Lewin believed that change was inevitable but short lived. Lewin's model consisted of three steps. The first step was unfreezing whereby the old behaviors were stopped or broken. This process of breaking the behavior could be easy or very difficult depending on the situation (Burnes 2004). The next step was that of moving. Moving was the actual changes taken place or where the old behaviors were replaced with new behaviors. Resources were identified and used during this step to make the change (Higgs 2005). Lewin believed that in order for change to occur. In order for change to occur all elements of the change needed to be identified and reviewed. The third and final step was called refreezing. Refreezing was the step in which the behaviors that were changed were stabilized. Lewin believed that change without reinforcement was short lived. Sometimes in order for refreezing to occur organizations had to change their culture and policies and procedures (Burnes 2004).
Lewin's change management theory approach was uniform in nature. Anothe...
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