Kotter’s 8-Step And Lewin’s Change Management Models

This essay discusses change management and focuses on the various change management models. It explains several of their strengths and limitations and how these models can be applied in an organization.  Change management can be defined as a well-thought-out mode of making sure that modifications or changes are well and systematically implemented and its benefits to its subjects is well achieved. It is the management of transition of people or teams from their current situation to a new one. There are four major management models of change. These include; the ADKAR model. This model focusses on the specific business outcomes and actions that are required for change. It is a practical mode that makes sense and easy to learn (Kaplan & Mikes, 2012, pp. 56). Second model is the Kotter’s 8-step model of change which follows eight clear steps to transiting to a new phase. It is the most utilised model of change. Third is Lewin’s change model which focusses majorly on the processes of change. It utilizes a three stage theory of change, which is, unfreezing, making the changes and refreezing. Finally is McKinsey’s 7S change model. This model focusses on seven interconnected fundamentals that are vital to a business that plans to implement change.

For this case, the essay focusses on two major change management models. The Kotter’s 8-step model of change and the Lewin’s change model. According to Battilana & Casciaro (2012, pp. 386), Lewis utilizes a three step process of change to describe an organizations’ change. He uses a simple analogy of transforming the shape of an ice block. That is, unfreeze, making change and then refreezing. This is the simplest model and an easy to understand framework for managing change within an organization. It starts by unfreezing, which is, first determining the need for and creation of the motivation to change. Then make the changes, which involves moving through the process of change by stimulating effective communication and empowerment of people to embrace the proposed changes and finally the refreezing step where the organization is returned to its normal stability. It is at this stage where sustainability of the change is developed, support and training is given and successes celebrated. The main strengths of the above model is that it provides a pictorial summary of the varied factors contrasting and assisting a particular idea of change. The other advantage is that it expands evaluations far and beyond the reason for change. It looks at the quantifiable aspects that may have a vital effect on the achievement or failure of the changes being effected. The main limitation of the model is that it is very rational. The change may look good on the outside in that it makes sense but the lack of human experience and feelings consideration when implementing have negative consequences.  In many cases employees will be so excited about the new changes that they forget the old systems transition, thus finding themselves facing resistance.

Kotter’s 8-step change model follows an eight step model. They are; step1 is creating a sense of urgency; step 2 formation of guidance principle; step 3 is development of a vision of change; step 4 is communicating the vision to relevant stakeholders; step 5 is empowerment of the people and doing away with the obstacles or hurdles, step 6 is generate short term achievements or victories, step 7 is consolidate the victories to produce more change and finally step 8 is to ensure the changes are deeply rooted in the organizations culture (Appelbaum, Habashy, Malo, & Shafiq, 2012, P. 766). The main advantages of this model is that it is a step by step or process based approach thus making transition easier. It has clear guiding steps which ensure effective transition. Its major disadvantage is that the 8 processes or steps take a great deal of time and the steps cannot be skipped.  It is a top-down model thus gives no room external participation thus can lead to frustration among employees if the stages any individual needs are not taken care of. The two models are highly recommended for change management since they are very effective and efficient in the process of change management in that the appropriately ensure smooth and effective transition or change into new systems or operations in any organization.

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