Change management models - Essay Example

Kotter’s 8 step change model

Management is often considered as a change agent because its main function is to implement the change. This means that management has to deal with resistance within the organization while making sure that the change is successfully applied (Gomez, 2008, p. 345). One of the theories that explain the change is Kotter;s eight step theory which places emphasis on management and the understanding of change. Every step has its own core principal in which the company workforce feels and perceives before accepting change. Kotter claimed that these stages represented the approach and response to change (Hart, 2003, p.78). Furthermore, the eight step approach is portrayed as the best illustration of how change can be appropriately managed. This is because, the change process has been significantly simplified and the conclusions indicate a successful change process. It is therefore; important for the managers to perceive change as a process that has many issues as highlighted in this theory.

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Lewin’s change model

Another theory that explains change is the change model by Lewin which includes unfreezing, changing, as well as refreezing. The approach assumes that change is a plan and stresses that irrespective of the type of change that is being implemented, the workforce may not always encourage change (Huse, 2005, p.98). Furthermore, it mainly focuses on preventing or reducing the resistance by referring to the two forces within the organization; restraining and driving forces. The driving forces are the reasons which motivate the change while the restraining forces refer to a workforce becoming resistant to the change. 

The unfreezing stage is considered as the driving force; here workers are mostly motivated rather than hesitant towards change. Furthermore, here the workforce prepares for the anticipated change (Kotter, 2006, p.89). Nonetheless, this is realized only after intense resistance that includes fear of breaking old habits or becoming afraid of what may come in future. The next stage is the changing process in which change takes place and the workers learn new structures, systems and behaviors. Lastly, refreezing involves the reinforcement of change. This is normally done through proper organizational rewards and feedback that demonstrates a desired behavior. 

Overall, Lewin’s model shows the procedure of change in a simple manner; particular resistant-reducer tactics have also been outlined in order to facilitate the minimally stressful and resistant change process possible.

Other change management models

The McKinsey model entails 7 categories which show what influences change. The categories include shared values, strategy, skills, staff, style, systems, and structure. All of them interact with one another whereby some become more influence as compared to others. This model mainly focuses on how organizations, groups and individuals change continuously irrespective of whether it is managed or planned.

The ADKAR approach was also created so that it could implement change specifically in business. The theory concentrates on the principles of change which are effective from the individual level (Laurencelle, 2001, p.102). The same principles are also designed so that they can be applied to entire organizations with many employees. The acronym ADKAR is Awareness, Knowledge, Reinforcement, and Ability. Every word represents the step within the change process which has to be applied to achieve a desired change. The main focus of this theory is on the people and how they can be changed.

Management change process

Awareness refers to the initiation of change in which the individual has to know the elements that need change and the purpose. Without this support, there will be intense resistance towards the individuals that want to implement the change. Extrinsic motivators could be any kind of motivation which comes from someone or any aspect other than an individual. This may influence an employee to embrace change. 

Knowledge refers to the information that is needed to ensure that change takes place and this entails information on the new systems, behaviors and programs which will be implemented. Offering the information is significant because the individuals may not always want to perform new tasks that they have no knowledge of. 

Ability refers to knowledge that turns into action. Therefore, an employee may need assistance and support when utilizing the knowledge which is required to make the change. On the other hand, Reinforcement refers to the needs of an individual to know when a desired outcome should be achieved. Recognizing an individual’s progress especially after facing difficulty may make the process of change significant because the recognition encourages the individual to not give up. 

Due to the fact that the process of change is inevitable in a company, the workforce should embrace the systematic interventions that aim at changing the organization’s structure. Moorhead & Griffen, (2009, p.712) believes that if the appropriate theory is applied, it could assist in incorporating change effectively. The conceptual view and methodologies of the change theories show cross-cultural management for inspiring the change agents and leaders. However, it is possible that they can challenge the organizational change agents because of the rapidly growing or highly demanding and complicated work environments. 

Understanding change in an organization dwells on learning the structure of a company. Change occurs throughout the organization’s life cycle and influences it as whole and not just sections of it. Furthermore, change and transformation increases based on some forces that include globalization which is led by the fast advancing technologies, economy, environmental resources and cultural diversity.   Therefore, the ability to realize that change is needed whereby change strategies are implemented effectively, in the proactive response to external and internal pressures is important to the organizational performance. External changes include competitor movements, customer demand, and government legislation and internal changes include HR requirements, organizational process, and structure. Several literatures focus on the negative side of change in terms of how difficult management gets when employees resist change. Nonetheless, Burnes (2000, p.297) argues that the workforce normally does not resist the change but instead it only affects them on a personal level because they fear the unknown, remuneration, and status. Therefore, resistance towards the changes is normal and could be managed in an effective manner through proper communication while also applying the appropriate change theory.

Change positively influences the company because the entire workforce had a chance to learn new skills and experiences in relative areas. The factory staff will have the opportunity to learn how to incorporate modern technology to improve the quality of the bus tyres. However, the company has to spend a lot of revenue training and convincing the staff on why change had to be implemented and used additional time to try and understand which areas or departments in the company needed the most change and transformation.

Pederson (2012, p.124) believes that change activities and objectives are important if they are coordinated closely with the organization’s workforce; this can be done by identifying the leaders responsible for implementing the change. It is important to note that communication has a significant function in overcoming the concerns and fears that are stimulated by change. Individuals are usually concerned about the influence change could have on them. Therefore, uncertainty within a working environment minimizes productivity and this means that it is essential to communicate the elements or aspects that are changing and why. It is apparent that change can only be influenced by the managers in the company because they support the vision of the firm. In general, the theory of change from an academic perspective seems to have similar aspect with how organizations implement change and this means that change is similar irrespective of how it is executed.