Change Theories

Theorist Model/Theory Why Important
Beckhard & Haris (1977) C = abc > x How to heighten readiness for change; connects with Kotter re: urgency, vision, short-term wins.
Kotter (1996)Book: Leading change Why Change Fails(How to help it succeed)

  • Urgency
  • Change Structure
  • vision
  • empowering others
  • Short-term wins
  • Consolidating improvements
  • Institutionalizing new approaches (culture)
Because it examines failure.
Because it develops the outline of a full system for change management, including systems change.
Lewin (1951) Force-Field Understanding forces in the personal or social life space that influence behavior.Also, cognitive and motivational aspects of learning.
Schein (1985; 1999) Culture

  • Levels of culture
    • Artifacts
    • Espoused Values
    • Tacit Assumptions
  • Consists of
    • External Adaptation Issues
    • Internal Integration Issues
    • Deep Assumptions
Because talks about how org culture as a social fieldcan be understood, how it is created, and how it ultimately changes.Changes in culture can influence changes in person.
Connor (1988; 1992)book: Managing at the speed of change: How resilient managers succeed and prosper where others failbook: Leading at the edge of chaos: How to create the nimble organization
  • Return on Change (RoC)
  • Resilience/Nimbleness
  • Human Due diligence
  • Change Load
    Capacity < Adaptation > Change Load

Notes: Managing at the Speed of Change
: Leading at the Edge of Chaos

Kotter (1995) Sources of “resistance to change” Human sources of anxiety associated with change and how to help people move through transition.
Waterman, Peters & Phillips (1995) 7S Model Highlights systemic interdependencies at organizational level.Shows how systemic structures must be aligned in order for change to occur.
Bridgesbook: Transitions: Making sense of life’s changes. Managing personal transitions

  • Endings
  • Neutral zone
  • New beginnings
Highlights the importance of managing endings.Focus on personaltransition, but has organizational application.Qualitatively gets at the real experience of being in the midst of change from the inside out.
Bunker / Albanbook: Large group interventions: Engaging the whole system for rapid change Large scale or whole system strategies for change.(Appreciative inquiry is not discussed, but this is one such strategy.) Difference between incremental change and transformationalchange.Basically, alters the entire social fieldat one time.Premised on social construction theory.


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