Change Management Theories


From the course information, I can tell that Kotter’s change model is one of the easiest ways to bring change to almost any organizational environment. There are several steps that make it clearer how to approach the problem since every stage comes with a detailed description and has to be supported by organizational guidance. Another reason why Kotter’s change model is often the most appropriate is the lack of complex actions that have to be completed in order to make certain changes work (Wentworth et al., 2020). In a sense, the key responsibility of the management is to ensure that employees accept the necessary change and their involvement is real. The overall process under Kotter’s change model looks like an emphasis on acceptability since no changes are pushed against employee will. Therefore, the team has to prepare for the change in order to be able to go through every stage of the given change model successfully.

On the other hand, it may be safe to say that Kotter’s change model is also affected by several limitations that could reduce its effectiveness on a long-term scale. For example, the team will be required to make sure that it follows every particular step in order to avoid any serious problems and respect the preset agenda (Lv & Zhang, 2017). Also, it could be that the whole process of implementing this change model could become too costly and time-consuming to be continued. The top-down nature of Kotter’s change model could discourage some of the organizations from co-creation and collaboration. Accordingly, the lack of participation could lead to frustrated employees and the inability to address the personal needs of all workers.

Lewin’s Change Model

Speaking of Lewin’s change model, I can also state that it is an agenda that is easy to understand and follow. Instead of in-depth training, employees could merely review the required steps and coordinate their actions to maintain the proper attitude (Hussain et al., 2018). It also appealed to me that Lewin’s change model is much more behavior-focused than Kotter’s. This factor shows that most managers engaging in Lewin’s model have extended knowledge of how to make people support change. The logic of this framework is easy to understand, which makes it possible for the team to capitalize on simplicity and navigate through the complex tasks with no hesitation. As noted by Burnes (2020), Lewin’s change model is closely linked to psychology, paving the way for solutions that are properly personalized and include values that appeal to the whole team and not just the management unit.

As for the most evident weaknesses, I would like to point out the lack of detail included in the framework of the model. The oversimplification attained by Lewin could be interpreted differently, depending on the team (Galli, 2018). For me, it is relatively hard to fill in the blanks and go through every stage of Lewin’s model quickly. Another problem with this change model is that modern businesses have become too flexible, and Lewin’s change model did not transform a bit. Technological advancements and recent trends in the business environment devaluate the ‘freezing’ stage and force the team to ‘unfreeze’ to find themselves in a different conundrum. Even if Lewin’s change theory is not exactly outdated, it still has to catch up with modern alternatives that are much more insightful.

Personal Commentary

For me, both these change models are still relevant because they appeal to human psychology and the need to nurture teams that expect to become successful. With numerous behavioral elements at stake, it should be essential to explore the fundamental reasons behind resistance to change and challenge such reluctance with support and acceptance. As a change manager, I would be able to use both change models since I have learned enough background information on them during the course.

Change Management Exercises

Based on the results of the exercises, my two go-to choices during the process of conflict resolution are avoidance and accommodation. I believe that the reason why avoidance is my primary alternative is that I tend to overlook some of the long-term implications of altercations and only rely on short-term solutions. Even though it feels better for me, I know that avoidance could spark additional tensions and cause the whole team to slow down in terms of performance. The second go-to strategy for me is accommodation. I feel like it became my second pick due to the willingness to resolve conflicts quickly, no matter the outcomes. Even though it might help me with short-term goals, it is safe to say that accommodation damages my self-esteem and creates room for the winning party. I do not sacrifice my principles often, but the willingness to avoid conflicts and accommodate the other party during the negotiation definitely hamper my approaches to conflict resolution and change management.

During a real change management episode, my overall attitude would be positive due to a decent level of flexibility and an understanding of what other people might expect from me. Nevertheless, I still have to learn how to respond to opinions that are different from mine and mediate the conversation in real-time. There is nothing more important for change management than fair treatment and the possibility to achieve common ground without excessive force (Stouten et al., 2018). I can definitely tell that the field of change management helps me stay aware at all times and recognize potential conflicts before they arise. In the future, I will also strive to sense tension and engage in active listening more often.

Case Study Commentary

I do not think that the issues presented within the framework of the case can be seen as similar to any of the experiences that are characteristic of my organization. The very first element that separates my organization from others is that our management is always prepared for change and exerts efforts to adjust all business operations to the economy and possible organizational changes. Even the case with the Covid-19 pandemic shows how important it is to know how to handle any unexpected situation and plan in advance (Hartmann & Lussier, 2020). It is also safe to say that my management takes time to listen to employee feedback regarding the future, which is a rewarding experience for both the administration and the workers. I see that the majority of employees do not pretend if something is wrong and take an upfront position in order to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

When coping with change, I think the best idea is to avoid any shortcuts and see how the existing solutions could be altered to remain in line with the current state of affairs. Humans are often too prone to maladaptive behaviors, so the key task of the management unit should be to help every employee handle their situations without resorting to any extreme solutions. Change management is a painful process that requires the team to remain patient, persevering, and goal-oriented (Sroufe, 2017). Since there is no easy fix available for the majority of business cases, the team should focus on communication and training. A healthy approach to prospects is also necessary if the organization expects to navigate through the pitfalls and minimize the potential damage. Ultimately, it will be rather helpful to acknowledge that the pressure on employees and managers is going to increase after the required change gets deployed. Therefore, unrealistic expectations should be there to accommodate the team if it faces off against a serious threat.

I think I can personally identify with the case study at hand because the main lesson for organizational change management is to remain positive irrespective of what happens to the team. This does not mean that employees and managers should celebrate the company going downhill. The idea is to stop pretending and meet every challenge face to face instead of avoiding peculiar problems that could hit the organization as an avalanche a bit later. I have learned to look at the bigger picture and focus on the positive aspects that can be extracted from any given scenario. The case study at hand proves that organizations can utilize the joint creative mind and past experiences to find answers. As soon as the situation is reframed, it becomes easier to clear obstacles and alter the perception of the situation to respond to problems in a different way.

Analyzing Stories from Change Management Perspective

Who Moved My Cheese?

One of the most important takeaways from this story is that no one can escape change, so it is best one anticipates it and does everything in their power to respond to the state of affairs in the most appropriate manner. The different strategies that have been picked by the mice and the little men illustrate how uncertainty could cause trouble and make the team fluctuate. On the other hand, crisis scenarios could make teams hesitant, making it essential to capitalize on decision-making and action-based strategies. When adapting to change, employees have to find something they like about the transformation and build their further experiences around it. An increasing degree of reluctance shown by Hem and Haw is another indicator of how hesitation could damage organizational outcomes. The primary task, in my opinion, is to handle change in style and create opportunities to overcome inherent fears that averted the whole team from major progress. I feel like our response to every change is what shapes the organization and makes it possible to strive for greatness.

Our Iceberg Is Melting

This particular story is based on the idea that a specific change vision and its successful conveyance could move the organization forward as soon as every manager and employee realizes what had to be done. It is evident that the future is going to differ due to upcoming changes, but the approach to the change plan is what matters most. In real life, the step of communicating the vision comes right after the first theoretical draft of potential change (Galli et al., 2018). Every member of the team should grasp the essential reasons for change and maintain the momentum that was set by the management. Similar to penguins, we have to be persistent in order to avoid resorting to old tricks. Early contentment should become a source of motivation and a conductor to the new culture being embedded. While remaining vigilant and meticulous, the team will have a chance to gain broader support for the new changes and communicate the vision and values in an accurate manner.

Guest Speaker Assessment

From my point of view, the guest speakers in the class did a great job since they covered some of the most interesting topics in change management. The biggest takeaway for me was the presence of quite a few personal ingredients that could facilitate the process of change and provide employees with enough support. I feel like the speakers provided clear guidance and served as a source of support when there was a need for assistance. Since directions from above often represent the moving force within the majority of organizations, I cannot imagine a team overcoming obstacles if they cannot follow a certain path and listen to the leader. Another thing I have learned from the speakers is to remain agile at all times and maintain a balance between corporate culture and personal needs. Nowadays, many companies tend to focus on innovation instead of fostering interpersonal relationships, so I believe that organizational change should start with people and not machines.

If I ever had to cope with my own challenges in the workplace while resorting to the lessons taught by the speakers, I would start with developing and communicating a coherent vision. Without communication mastery, no proper change management can be achieved under any circumstances (Petrou et al., 2018). Even if a company could resort to outsourcing and utilize its monetary resources to resolve some of the issues, the vision would remain the same. This is why I feel like the speakers did a great job when they noted that every piece of organizational change is equal to disruptive innovation that had to be reinvented and reinforced. Ultimately, I have also learned much more about how planning could prevent an organization from hasty decisions and uninformed revisions. A creative approach to continual planning represents the best choice for the current business environment because everyone has to be flexible and possess all the required capabilities. Either way, the speakers motivated me to keep the try-fail-try attitude and set expectations while generating change.

Change Management Initiative Response

If the CEO ever asked me about a change management initiative, the first step for me would be to establish the necessary goals and develop a decent strategy. The reason for this is the need to identify the rationale for the project and then outline the desired results. I would collect all kinds of feedback from team members in order to see what are their core concerns and how they expect to tackle them on both a short- and a long-term scale. Even if business processes would get more complex, the team should work hard enough to eliminate tasks that bring the least value and focus on the most efficient ones. After analyzing feedback, I would also engage in deep analytics in order to predict at least some of the changes that could happen after the implementation of the plan. With the right change management team (a project manager, several sponsors, change team leader, and loyal employees), it would be much easier to communicate the vision and create comfortable competitive advantages.

Even though I did not have a chance to experience similar emotions, I did observe the managers in our organization following the same suit. After coming up with theoretical predictions and developing a simple change plan, they switched to developing the strategy and calculating the risks that could affect the organization. Personally, I did not accept the necessary change instantly, but I tried my best to think rationally and engage with the change plan across every stage. The managers shared their knowledge with the team in order to make the best use of their predictions and ensure that the organization is going to benefit from the proposed change as well. From the development of SMART goals to closing the gap between the necessary and the existing levels of performance, it was a textbook change management process. When I am looking at it right now, I think that an enormous knowledge base is required to meet such objectives and identify all the required steps and resources on the fly.

The ‘Office of the Future’ task made me realize that employee confidence can be boosted through the interface of simpler change objectives and a slower adoption process. With constant feedback, the team will also have a chance to monitor the change and see if the plan works out as expected. For me, communication remains an essential element of success that cannot be ignored if the team wants to gain momentum and maintain it during the later stages in change management. My suggestion is to come up with a means of conducting a post-transition review that could help the management ensure that implemented changes are maintained carefully. Some of the possible indicators to follow could be increased sales numbers or the occurrence of interpersonal conflicts.

Six Problem-Solving Mindsets

The most useful point from all the articles was that one’s change management journey could not be replicated. The skills that one gains or implements throughout the way are not included in a blueprint that can be checked prior to launching a change management project. This is also the main reason why I believe that strong organizational culture contributes to problem-solving and makes it much more vivid. When people come prepared for the task, they have a bigger chance to set correct expectations and achieve something valuable. Another core takeaway is that every employee and every manager are responsible for their successes and failures. When mistakes are treated as a catalyst for development, a larger number of opportunities appear as related to feedback and change management. The power of collecting and processing data cannot be underestimated because one’s confidence should be founded on real-life evidence and not personal assumptions. Change management should be linked to self-awareness and the capability of taking responsibility for one’s actions at all times. Nowadays, we have all the tools to engage in problem-solving, and the only task is to utilize them correctly.

Conclusion: A SWOT Analysis

  • Learning more about change management
  • Engaging in real-life activities and extending capabilities
  • Using creative thinking to address challenges in the fields of leadership and change management
  • Resorting to avoidance too often
  • Being afraid of change when it comes to serious transformations
  • Making the best use of my motivation and responsiveness
  • Driving toward improving my change management skills
  • Being too fixated on the need to instigate change and implement theoretical knowledge without the groundwork


Burnes, B. (2020). The origins of Lewin’s three-step model of change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 56(1), 32-59.

Galli, B. J. (2018). Change management models: A comparative analysis and concerns. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 46(3), 124-132.

Hartmann, N. N., & Lussier, B. (2020). Managing the sales force through the unexpected exogenous COVID-19 crisis. Industrial Marketing Management, 88, 101-111.

Hussain, S. T., Lei, S., Akram, T., Haider, M. J., Hussain, S. H., & Ali, M. (2018). Kurt Lewin’s change model: A critical review of the role of leadership and employee involvement in organizational change. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 3(3), 123-127.

Lv, C. M., & Zhang, L. (2017). How can collective leadership influence the implementation of change in health care? Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), 182-185.

Petrou, P., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2018). Crafting the change: The role of employee job crafting behaviors for successful organizational change. Journal of Management, 44(5), 1766-1792. Sroufe, R. (2017). Integration and organizational change towards sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production, 162, 315-329.

Stouten, J., Rousseau, D. M., & De Cremer, D. (2018). Successful organizational change: Integrating the management practice and scholarly literatures. Academy of Management Annals, 12(2), 752-788.

Wentworth, D. K., Behson, S. J., & Kelley, C. L. (2020). Implementing a new student evaluation of teaching system using the Kotter change model. Studies in Higher Education, 45(3), 511-523.

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