Kurt Lewin's Change Theory
Organizations face the continuous prospect of change as they fight to survive and remain competitive in a globalized economy. Changes exist in both the external and internal environments. As organizational environments exert pressure for change, organizations must adjust if they are to survive and prosper.
According to Medley and Akan (2008), theories concerning organizational change were dominated by Lewin’s planned change approach (1947), which brings together four complex elements: (1) field theory, which seeks to map the totality of human behaviors taking place; (2) group dynamics, which seeks to understand the behavior of groups; (3) action research, which requires analyzing the situation and choosing the best change for the
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The U.S. Trust employees were accustomed to thinking that because they served wealthy people, they were different and better than other bank employees who serviced the mass. That kind of mentality plus the anger over the fact they were acquired by a less than deserving corporation made working together very difficult to a point that clients were not being served, and there was a mass exodus of clients and employees to another competitor. Mergers are risky strategies, and most executives are acutely aware of the potential downsides of a failed integration. In this case the change barrier was communication and team work, and the change agents failed to recognize that they should have surveyed all staff to get an idea on how they felt about the merger and about each other. A better choice would have been to involve leaders within the newly combined company in developing a specific picture of what the enterprise would look like post merger, organizationally, and redefine the mission of the newly formed organization; and clearly state what is expected of employees. For a successful change to occur, management need to keep the communication lines open with all employees and have an open door policy to allow employees to discuss all concerns to help eliminate the barriers to change.
In the changing stage, Medley and Akan (2008) states that organizational members are guided through an interactive process where they identify