Lewin’s Management of Change – Identifying Three Stages on the Change Process

Kurt Zadek Lewin is one of the first few people who laid the foundation of the study of change and its impact to humans and his environment. He is also one of the first researchers to study organizational development and group dynamics that ultimately made him be recognized as the founder of social psychology. Lewin was well known for his contributions in the development of field theory, as well as his early model of change.

Lewin’s model of change defines three stages in the process of change that aims in allowing the process to be understood and providing milestones for evaluating progress towards change. The three stages of the Lewin’s model of change are:

(a) Unfreezing
(b) Changing
(c) Refreezing

Unfreezing begins with the determination that something has to be altered in the current system. This may be caused by low sales profits characterized by declines in production. To get people ready for this, they have to develop the proper mindset and be aware about the following:

(a) Necessity for change
(b) Nature of needed change
(c) Methods planned to achieve the change
(d) Needs of those affected
(e) Ways that progress will be planned and monitored

The second stage is called the Change phase. This is the stage wherein the definition of the problem occurs, identify possible solutions, formulate a strategy to implement change and finally implement the solution.

The last stage is the Refreezing phase wherein unlearning of the old process has been done, new skill sets were developed and one’s comfort level is returning to the previous state. This also means that new patterns were already accepted and followed with enthusiasm.

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