Organizational change is an essential part of any company’s development. In the contemporary management theory, there are three primary models that can be utilized to manage change in the organization. Those are – Lewin’s stages of action research (five phases involved in action research), Lewin’s change management model (three-step model), and Kotter’s eight-step change model. The three theories can be utilized efficiently, depending on the circumstances and the nature of the issue that a company is having.
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In this case, the most appropriate model to utilize is the five phases involved in action research. The organization in this situation needs to implement changes to ensure that issues with employee turnover and profitability are fixed. However, the management is not sure about what is causing the problems. Therefore, detailed research should help them identify the factors that obstruct their company’s development. Then, using this information, the management will be able to develop a change plan that is the most appropriate in the situation.
According to the Stages of an action research project (n.d.), the process of planning a change usually begins with a general idea. In this scenario, the management has an understanding of issues that are in the way of their company’s development process. Those are the employee turnover and decreased profitability. The next step would be to identify the causes. However, “how to circumscribe this objective, and how to reach it is frequently not too clear” (Stages of an action research project, n.d., para.1). The research will allow finding factual information that will help create a plan of action. Furthermore, the process Lewin’s stages of action research imply the need for constant reevaluating of the chosen action plan. This is done through the process of reflection and observation (Stages of an action research project, n.d.). In the presented case, this will allow the management to evaluate the chosen plan and make necessary changes if needed. The Lewin’s stages of action research should be utilized in the presented case as the management is unsure about what is causing the increased turnover of workforce and decreased profits. The theory will help to identify the issue and create an intervention plan. Furthermore, in the future, the management team will be able to evaluate the effectiveness and make changes to the plan.
In the presented scenario, the most efficient theory to utilize is Kotter’s eight-step change model. Firstly, the management has identified the need for change – the software system is outdated. Without an intervention, the company can have financial losses. Secondly, the management knows the main obstruction to change – the employees. Although hardworking, they can be reluctant to invest efforts in learning how to work with the new software. Considering these two factors, the most appropriate way to address the problem is through “generating a sense of urgency, establishing a powerful guiding coalition, developing a vision, communicating the vision clearly and often, removing obstacles, planning for and creating short-term wins, avoiding premature declarations of victory, and embedding changes in the corporate culture.” (Kotter, 2007, para. 3). The process of change, in this case, will take a lot of time and effort from both the management and the employees.
The management needs to begin the change management by explaining the need for it, as they have identified that they have to substitute their software in order to remain compatible. Next, they will have to develop a vision that will help them guide the process. Due to the fact that the company will be unable to function without this intervention, it is likely that most of the employees will agree to cooperate. “Realizing that change usually takes a long time … can improve the chances of success” (Kotter, 2007, para. 7). This will help address the factors that the employees are worried about. It is evident that making changes in this company will be difficult and time-consuming and the understanding of it is half of the resolution.
In the presented scenario, the management will be able to encourage the employees to train and work hard. In addition, they have identifies the main issue that obstructs the changes, therefore, they have determined the obstacles. In the end, the management will have to ensure that everyone has gained the knowledge, needed to work with the new software. Thus, the changes need to become part of the company’s corporate culture. Therefore, the most appropriate change model in this scenario is Kotter’s eight stages.
In the third scenario, the primary objective is the support from the senior management. The first stage of Lewin’s model involves ensuring “there is strong support from senior management.” (Lewin’s change management model, 2014, para. 14). Therefore, the most appropriate change model, in this case, is Lewin’s three steps.
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According to Lewin’s change management model (2014), the theory has three main components – unfreeze, change, and referees. In the unfreezing stage, it is essential to identify the issue and communicate why changes have to be made. In this case, the CEO determined that dramatic improvements are needed in order to retain the market share. Communicating the need of the employees and senior management will help establish the “unfreeze” stage of the process (Lewin’s change management model, 2014).
The next stage of the model involves changing the current state of things (Lewin’s change management model, 2014). This process includes the communicating and empowering people. In this case, it is essential as people in the company are likely to resist change. Finally, the last stage is focused on sustaining the developed environment (Lewin’s change management model, 2014). In the scenario, the CEO will have to ensure that the changes he has implemented remain within the company. Therefore, the most appropriate model, in this case, is Lewin’s three stages.
In my opinion, the three change models are equally useful. Their primary aim of them is to guide the company through the process of change efficiently. However, each has significant differences that can be beneficial in particular situations. According to Lewin’s change management model (2014), the primary determinants are the “nature of the business, the change and the people involved” (para. 1). Therefore, the management should decide which model to utilize based on the obstacles that influence the change.
It can be argued that the easiest to understand model is Lewin’s three steps. Therefore, it is the most useful out of the three. As stated in Lewin’s change management model (2014), it involves only three steps. The central part of this process is constant communication, which is vital for any organization’s development. The most complicated model out of the three and therefore the least useful is Kotter’s eight steps. However, the author offers a great outlook on the process of change management; thus, the model should not be disregarded entirely. Each model can be utilized in a particular setting.
Kotter, J. P. (2007). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review, 85(1), 96-103.
Lewin’s change management model. (2014). Web.
Stages of an action research project. (n.d.). Web.