Lewin’s Change Model

Lewin’s Change Model

Lewin’s Change Model

Kurt Lewin’s work in behavior and the creation of Lewin’s change model made him one of the first organizational and leadership theorists. Lewin’s seminal work identified the formula that behavior is a function of the person in the environment.

B = f (P, E)

His work also initiated discussions on the change process which he referred to as the 3-step model. The model consisted of an organization unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. Later in his life, this model led to his research on analyzing change which he called a force field analysis. This consisted of analyzing the restraining or driving forces that affect transitions; assessing which are critical, and taking mitigating and maximizing steps on those critical factors.

The Lewin change model focuses on the three stages of how the organization evolves. The process starts with unfreezing which is altering the present state stable equilibrium. Secondly, the change introduces new responses to stimuli. Lastly, the change effort is stabilized and refrozen within the organization.

This revolution was the spark that led to an entirely new field of study. Lewin’s change model was well-received because it was easy to understand conceptually and to apply in practice. Additionally, the model forces the change agent to think past the quantitative side of change management to incorporate the qualitative side. However, the main detractor from this change approach is that it is rudimentary in nature and does not address how to deal with detractors that can derail the change efforts.


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