23.2.4 APPROACHES TO MANAGING ORGANIZATION CHANGE Kurt Lewin argued that successful change in organizations should follow three steps Unfreezing the status quo Movement to a new state Refreezing the new change to make it permanent. Unfreezing: It is actually the process of preparing the system for change through disconfirmation of the old practices, attitudes, tendencies, or behaviors. This is the initial phase where those involved in the change experience a need for something different and a sense of restlessness with the status quo. In essence, the feeling that the system is hurting itself badly now and desperately requires a change to survive, is sensed by all. Initiative for changes efforts are taken to overcome the pressures of both individual resistance and group conformity. Movement to a new state: Changing or moving is the phase where the changes that have been planned are actually initiated and carried out. Changes could relate to the mission, strategy, objectives, people, tasks, work roles, technology, structure, corporate culture, or any other aspects of the organization. Well thought out changes have to be carefully implemented with participation of the members who will be affected by the change. Changes incorporated too quickly without adequate preparation will result in resistance to change. Refreezing: It is the last phase of the planned change process. Refreezing ensures that the planned changes that have been introduced are working satisfactorily, that any modifications, extra considerations, or support needed for making the changes operational are attended to, and that there is reasonable guarantee that the changes will indeed fill the gap and bring the system to the new, desired state of equilibrium. This necessarily implies that the results are monitored and evaluated, and wherever necessary corrective measures are taken up to reach the new goal. If the refreezing phase is neglected or temporarily attended to, the desired results will not ensure and the change may even be total disaster. Forced Field Analysis: Kurt Lewin stated that there are two types of forces operating in the change process. I) Those forces which prepare or make the system ready for changes to occur, are called as driving forces, ii) Those forces which oppose or operate against changes taking place in the system, are called as restraining forces. If the two sets of forces are equal in strength, then the systems is in a state of equilibrium and changes will not occur. If the driving forces are stronger than the restraining forces, then the system will be changing to find a new equilibrium as the gap to be filled gets narrowed down. A more viable option is to
reduce existing resistance by dealing with and minimizing the forces that resist the change. In practice, a combination of both strategies – reducing the restraining factors and increasing the driving forces often ensures best results.
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- Fall '19