Change management is the process, which assists how to develop, qualify and help employees to prosperously embrace change to lift the workplace success and results. However, all the changes as well as the individuals are distinctive; research that has been done in decades reflects that there are actions, which can be taken to effect people in their individual transitions. Thus, change management imparts a structured advent for assisting the individuals in the organization to progress from their own current to future states.
Three levels of change management are there, which are individual change management, the organizational/initiative change management and enterprise change management capability. Thus, change management is important in a business to lower resistance, enhance engagement, and boost performance, decrease costs and increase innovation (Hayes 2014). Thus, if changes are taking place in the organizations like strategic, tactical, leadership or technological change then those will have an effect on the employees, processes as well as the performance. Therefore, to help the organization to minimize those effects and impacts from having certain negative outcomes, it is important to have methodologies of change management. The aim of this individual research report is thus, regarding change management theory, its literature review and new change management theories.
Literature review on change management theory
Van der Voet (2014), in his research has examined the potency as well as specificity of change management in public organizations. According to him, there is wide private sector literature on change management but the present studies suggest that the particular context of organizations might have repercussion for the change management in the organization. This article further investigates about the different change approaches as well as transformational leadership of the administrators who contribute to the impactful application of change management in the public organizations. Moreover, the implementation of the organizational change management in a Dutch public organization is investigated through quantitative methods as well as techniques. Findings of this research highlighted that the bureaucratic organizations can explicitly implement change management with planned as well as emergent change perspectives. It further states that the type of change approach as well as organizational structure determines the endowment of transformational leadership. The transformational leadership act of the direct administrators mainly endows little to the already planned procedure of change but is important in the developing processes of change in the non-bureaucratic surrounding. Van der Voet ( 2014), further stated that the literature of change management mainly intensify the leadership of the senior most managers, but the leadership roles of the absolute administrators should also not be neglected during the organizational change management in the public organizations.
In another study by Hwang and Low (2012), have studies the importance as well as the impact of change management implementation in the construction industry of Singapore. Modification in the construction projects is unavoidable. Thus, to decrease the effect of the changes in the project it is very crucial to apply change management. To reach the objective the authors conducted a comprehensive literature review so that they can obtain a thorough apprehending of change management for which a survey through questionnaire was performed. The data gathered from 384 projects that was consented by 32 companies were evaluated then the execution status was scrutinized at organization level as well as project level which was followed by recognition of the key factors which motivates as well as de-motivates the organizations to perform change management (Hwang and Low 2012). They further examined the significance and importance of change management in respect of project performances, which are cost, time as well as quality. Findings suggest that the execution status in the construction industry of Singapore is comparatively lower than refinement in project cost, time as well as quality performances that are attained by the organizations, which execute change management, are likely to be eminent than those organizations, which do not. Moreover, identifying the execution status along with the significance as well as the effects of change management it can be a beginning point for the organizations to reduce changes which has a negative effect on the overall performances and further allowing companies to have an increased opportunity for their project success.
Shirey (2013), stated that change management strategies not only successful in planning strategically but also execute organizational change schemes. He further stated that the lewin’s change management theory could be used as a strategic resource to prepare individual’s side of modification. Sarayreh, Khudair and Barakat (2013), stated that successful change management is important to any organization or firms so that they can survive and succeed in the current highly competitive atmosphere as well as it is also useful in drawing out business environment. Moreover, his perspective says that theories as well as approaches towards change management, which are presently obtainable to the academics and the practitioners, are frequently contradictory and mainly missing the factual proofs and are underpinned by defeated hypotheses regarding the essence of change management. Cummings, Bridgman and Brown (2016), have highlighted how and why the ‘changing as three steps’ by Kurt Lewin came in the front as the framework of the emergent subfield of change management and having an impact on the change theory and practice and how it can encourage innovation in the organizations. According to this article, lewin’s ‘changing as three steps’ that is unfreezing-changing-refreezing is considered by many intellects as the primary approach towards change management.
Appelbaum et al. (2012), has presented a paper in which they have gathered the present arguments as well as counterarguments in favor of the typical change management model, which was presented by John P. Kotter in his book named leading change at 1996. Kotter in his model has given eights steps and in this article the authors have reviewed the literature on change management for analyzing how much these steps have contributed collectively as well as individually. The result states that Kotter’s model of change management arrives to drive its admiration from its impracticable and direct format from that of any scientific consensus on the outcome. Kuipers et al. (2014), in their article highlighted a literature review on change management in the public organizations and further investigated the degree to which the literature has acknowledged to the advance critique concerning the lack of contextual factors. This paper involves 133 articles that were issued in between 2000 to 2010 on change management topic. Their examination was mainly on the subject of the context, content, process, results as well as leadership of change management. It further recognized that the articles are at all referring to the various orders of change or not and about their methods and theories employed. The finding stated that there was an absence of detail on the change processes and results and an interval between the ordinary theories that are used to investigate the change management.
New change management theories
- Lewin’s change management model- Kurt Lewin 1950 created his change management model, which is among the most popular approaches. This model is preferred by majority of people to operate within definite zones of safety (Burke 2017). This model mainly divides the change process into three stages, which are-
- Unfreeze- Maximum people make a vigorous effort to withstand change. However, in to defeat this proneness, an interval of defrosts or unfreezing must be instigated via motivation.
- Make changes- After a change is instigated the organization progresses into a period of transition that might stay for a brief period. Sufficient leadership as well as reassurance is important for the procedure to be impactful.
- Refreeze- Besides the change has been undertaken and successfully executed the organization becomes steady yet and employees refreeze as they functions beneath the current guidelines.
However, this change management model is broadly used in recent times but it has been observed that it is time consuming while implementing but still organizations prefers this model to incorporate major changes because it is easy to use.
- Kotter’s theory- Jon kotter came up with 8steps of change model so that it can help the managers to tackle transformational change. This 1996 John Kotter wrote a book named leading change, which highlighted what individuals did to alter their organizations (Worley and Mohrman 2014). This model thus, causes change to become a campaign. Staffs buy into the changes after their leaders assure them of the immediate need for the change to arise. Moreover, the 8 steps which are included in this model are as follows-
- Expand the importance for change
- Establish a team devoted to change
- Generate the vision for the change
- Communicate the necessity for change
- Authorize the employees with the potential to change
- Short term goals must be created
- Stay determined
- The change should be made lasting
This model has certain advantages as this model suggests the steps, which are easy. It further focuses on preparing as well as accepting the change not on the actual change. Lastly, this model makes transition easier. On the other hand, the disadvantages of this model are that the steps that are suggested cannot be skipped and the procedure is time consuming.
- Nudge theory- In this theory there is no allocated change management model but instead there is a mindset and a tactic that can be utilized to frame the modifications in a more appealing and effective manner. As far as the basic theory is concerned it say that ‘nudging’ change along is more impactful than attempting to impose it in a traditional way (Baldwin, Cave and Lodge 2012). So according to this theory instead of telling the workforce what to do and how to modify themselves, the organization must pave the way for them so that they can choose to do so by themselves. However, the trick here is to know how the organization would present these nudges. The basic principles that one must follow when nudging changes are as follows-
- Changes must be defined clearly
- The changes must be considers from the viewpoint of the employee
- Evidences must be used to select the best option
- The change must be presented as a choice
- Feedback must be listened
- Hurdles must be limited
- Momentum must be kept up while achieving short-term goals
Comparison of the theories
The above description of the models clearly states that among three new change management theories it has been seen that Lewin’s theory and Nudge theory has been found to be very much time consuming in comparison to that of Kotter’s theory. However, lewin’s model is beneficial and is accepted by maximum organizations because it uncover those hidden mistakes which are taken for granted as it evaluates every aspects of what is being changed. On the other hand, in kotter’s theory, a sense of urgency is created and everyone is convinced that why the change is important. Moreover, in nudge theory, the employees are made to realize the significance of the issue and they themselves can choose the solution (Pugh 2016).
Examples of the applicability of the theories
Lewin’s change management model- Continental airlines, which were prime United States airlines, implement this theory in their business.
Kotter’s theory- This theory is mainly used by the US Army to prepare their troops for the current structure of asymmetrical threats.
Nudge theory- The main Silicon Valley organizations are prototype in applying this theory in their corporate setting.
It can be recommended that for the change management theories to get successful in the organizations it must built the urgency based on the organizations financial performance, their competitive situation, market positioning as well as technological trends. When the companies are dealing with change management, they must first observe their current strategy before bringing a change. Communication is very much important throughout the organization to apply the change successfully. Moreover, the employees must be involve from the very beginning so that they have influence in the strategic plan because it will decrease employee’s resistance.
To conclude this report, it can be said that change management theory is considered the authority, which guides how an organization can prepare, qualify as well as help their employees to successfully accept the changes to drive the success of the workplace. Through the literature review of Change management theory, it is clear that change management is important for organizations by reducing the negative effects on the outcomes. The three new Change management theories, which were highlighted, are Lewin’s model of change management, the Kotter’s theory and nudge theory.
Appelbaum, S.H., Habashy, S., Malo, J.L. and Shafiq, H., 2012. Back to the future: revisiting Kotter's 1996 change model. Journal of Management Development, 31(8), pp.764-782.
Baldwin, R., Cave, M. and Lodge, M., 2012. Understanding regulation: theory, strategy, and practice. Oxford University Press on Demand.
Burke, W.W., 2017. Organization change: Theory and practice. Sage Publications.
Cummings, S., Bridgman, T. and Brown, K.G., 2016. Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. human relations, 69(1), pp.33-60.
Hayes, J., 2014. The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave Macmillan.
Hwang, B.G. and Low, L.K., 2012. Construction project change management in Singapore: Status, importance and impact. International Journal of Project Management, 30(7), pp.817-826.
Kuipers, B.S., Higgs, M., Kickert, W., Tummers, L., Grandia, J. and Van der Voet, J., 2014. The management of change in public organizations: A literature review. Public Administration, 92(1), pp.1-20.
Pugh, L., 2016. Change management in information services. Routledge.
Sarayreh, B.H., Khudair, H. and Barakat, E.A., 2013. Comparative study: the Kurt Lewin of change management. International Journal of Computer and Information Technology, 2(4), pp.626-629.
Shirey, M.R., 2013. Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), pp.69-72.
Van der Voet, J., 2014. The effectiveness and specificity of change management in a public organization: Transformational leadership and a bureaucratic organizational structure. European Management Journal, 32(3), pp.373-382.
Worley, C.G. and Mohrman, S.A., 2014. Is change management obsolete?. Organizational Dynamics, 43(3), pp.214-224.