Organizational Change Management: Models Of Change Management

Discuss about the Organizational Change Management for the Models of Change Management.


Change management is systematic approaches, which ensure that organizational changes are smoothly and thoroughly implemented. Effective change management also ensures a long lasting benefit over the organization as well as employees (Smollan, 2013). Various change management theory defines the transformational process of employee behavior towards new changes, while they remains resistant towards changes. This study will describe four change management theories through Kurt Lewin theory, ADKAR model, Kotter’s 8 step theory and William Bridges’s Transition Model. The study will also describe the suitability of these models through the implementation in four companies namely Eagle Boys, Wesfarmers, Westpac Bank of Australia and Telstra.

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Literature on Theories
Kurt Lewin Theory

The famous psychologist Kurt Lewin invented this theory in the year 1930. Kurt Lewin theory highlights the aspects of human behavior change. It is a three-stage theory of transforming employees in organization towards adopting new changes. The theory provides effective framework to the organizational managers for implementing change effort (Van der Voet, 2014). It assists in making radical change and minimizes disruption in the structured operation of organization. There change process is accomplished through below mentioned there stages:


According to Hornstein, (2015), in unfreezing stage, employees become aware of the change occurred in organization. On the other hand, Hamraz, Caldwell and Clarkson, (2013) opined that employees remain resistant to adopt the organizational changes in such situation. In this stage, the managers of organization try to make the employees aware of the rationality of changes. Employees should be communicated in transparent way so that they understand the value of the change. While the employees will be aware of the rationality of the changes in term of organization as well as individual success, they will definitely accept the changes.


In this stage, ultimate change occurs in the organization. According to Nordin et al., (2012), change is not an event; rather it is a process or transition. On the other hand, Nastase, Giuclea and Bold, (2012) opined that change stage convert the change into ultimate reality. Employees are to accommodate themselves with new set of work process. Therefore, this stage is marked as uncertainty and fear for the employees. The managers of organization should provide adequate support and equipment to the employees so that they can make the change successful.


In this stage, the management reinforces, solidifies and stabilizes the new changes as new norms of organization. According to Jacobs, van Witteloostuijn and Christe-Zeyse, (2013), in this stage, the managers are ensures that the employees will not get back to old thinking and stick to the changed process. On the other hand, Pieterse, Caniëls and Homan, (2012) opined that positive acknowledgment and reward to the employees makes them interested to work as per the changed system.


ADKAR Model focuses on individual change level and the specific needs of the employees towards changing their behavior (Smollan, 2013). This model defines five elements through which employees can be able to accommodate themselves with organizational changes:




In order to make employees interested towards organizational change, they should be communicated with its value. The goal of the change should be beneficial to the employees along with organization.


The employees should be engaged in organizational changes to make it successful. Employees take positive participation in changes process, when they get proper support from the management.


Employees should have proper knowledge for implementing organizational changes successfully. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the managers to provide adequate training and learning to the employees for enhancing their knowledge needed for the change.


Proper skills are highly essential for the employees to implement organizational change properly. Managers should review the performance level of the employees in a constant manner. Based on the performance review, managers should provide hand on training to the employees.


In order to sustain change and keep it going, the managers are to remind the employees regarding the rationality of organizational change.

Table 1: ADKAR Model

(Source: Barends et al., 2014)

Kotter’s 8 Step model

Serial Number


Transformational suggestions


Increasing urgency

·         Examine competitive realities in the market

·         Identification of crisis potential crisis and opportunity


Building team

·         Assembling teams with employees having enough power

·         Attracting team leaders with great enthusiasm and commitment towards change

·         Encourage teamwork


Creating vision for change

·         Creating vision to assist in direct change effort

·         Making strategies for achieving vision


Communicate need for change

·         Build engagement and alignment through communicating the value of change

·         Keep communication heartfelt and simple


Empowering employees

·         Remove barriers for change

·         Change the system, which is against the changed vision


Creating short-term wins

·         Planning and achieving visible performance improvements

·         Rewarding employees responsible for bringing successful changes


Stay persistent

·         Reinforce employee behavior towards change management


Permanent change

·         Making connection among new change and corporate success

Table 2: Kotter’s 8 Step model

(Source: Wincek et al., 2015)

William Bridges’s Transition Model

William Bridges’s Transition Model of change management defined the following three steps for changing the behavior of employee toward organizational changes:

Ending, losing, and letting go

In this stage, employees are presented with the new organizational changes. Employees often show resistant and emotional upheavals in accepting the changes. The employees are forced to accept the changes, which are against their interest. Various emotions like anger, frustration, fear, denial and sadness can be found within employees (Fugate, Prussia and Kinicki, 2012). Employees in this stage need to be given time for accepting changes. The managers should listen to the feeling of employees towards the changes and make them understand the rationality of changes.

Neutral Zone

In this stage, employees create chaos, as they are to face uncertainty in their work in terms of new system. In this stage, employees try to adopt the new changes. Employees may show low productivity and morale towards their new job role (De Matos and Clegg, 2013). Therefore, the managers are to encourage and support the employees in accommodating with new systems.

The new beginning

In this stage, employees embrace themselves with new change initiatives and acquire new skills for coping up with new system of working. 4 Ps come in this phase in terms of Purpose, Picture, Plan and Part.

Interpretation of theories on various scenarios
Kurt Lewin Theory in Eagle Boys

An effective application of Kurt Lewin Theory can be seen in Eagle Boys Australia. The CEO of the company identified decline in their sales in the year 2013 (Fugate, Prussia, and Kinicki, 2012). Consequently, the organization thought of implementing online ordering system for their products. Eventually, this required a huge operational changes and massive change in accounts department. However, the employees were resistant to accept the new technology for online ordering system.

In such a situation, the organization has implemented Kurt Lewin Theory to successfully implementing changes. According to this theory, in freezing stage, the leaders of this organization has first communicates the rationality of this new system with their employees. According to Burnes and Cooke, (2013), the employees have understood that it will benefit the organization in terms of increased sales. On the other hand, van der Smissen, Schalk and Freese, (2013) opined that the employees have also realized their own benefit in terms of flexibility. In this way, the leaders become successful in convincing the employees towards new changes. In change stage, the managers of the organization have provided enough technical training and support to understand the new process of the work. In this stage, employees tried hard in coping up with new online ordering system. In the third stage, the organization has enjoyed the success of the new system. According to Appelbaum et al., (2012), continuous reminders from the part of management are provided to the employees so that change becomes stable.

ADKAR Model implementation in Westfarmers

Shepherd et al., (2014) pointed out that Westfarmers has been one of the most successful retail organizations in Australia but in the year 2014, it has to face huge competitive issues from Woolworths. This resulted in huge financial loss. In order to be sustainable, the organization thought of changing the internal operations. The management thought of designing reports and necessary requisites at the end of each month. This resulted in huge restrictions from the operational heads as it would be very hard for them to set up a concrete report at every thirty days. As a result of this ADKAR model was implemented by the organization. Initially, the organization tried to entertain and educate the employees about the requirements of such reports and guide them about the particular methods that they must undertake (Hornstein, 2015). Such awareness helped in building up knowledge and finally the organization was able to compete with market players in terms of sales.

Kotter’s 8 Step model’ implementation for Westpac Bank of Australia

According to Smollan, (2013), Westpac Bank of Australia has been the most successful and wide bank in Australia but the organization was not able to work in an united way as it lacked team building. The organization was in a slight crisis while coordinating offline transaction team with online transaction team. Real time credit and debit functions were taking huge time to get updated in online portal. This created huge confusion among the consumers and daily operations were being delayed. Finally, the organization implemented Kotter’s 8 Step model. The teams were made aware of the current market competitiveness and the lack of client’s interest in investment. Then the employees were trained and developed how they need to cooperate and update their proceedings at each day. This resulted in team building and great customer satisfaction as 22.3% of the consumer’s query related to transactions was addressed (Wincek et al., 2015).

William Bridges’s Transition Model implementation for Telstra

Telstra has been one of the largest telecommunication and Media Company in Australia, but in the year 2015, the organization had to face tremendous issue from internal management in terms of new applicant confirmation. The organization thought of implementing “Change of Ownership Business to Consumer Transfer Request”. This resulted in huge number of applications from numerous applicants regarding new mobile registration and confirmation (De Matos and Clegg, 2013). The employees were found to be less efficient in handing typical client’s request and as a result the confirmation of applications was getting delayed. The validity of client’s forms to get verified was under huge queue. At the end, the organization implemented William Bridges’s Transition Model. The four pillars, purpose, picture, plan and part were explained to the employees. The explanation was done so that the employees understand the requirement of the change in operation. The outcome such as better customer loyalty and better services were explained, which led the employees to become the part of such change and support organizational decision (Burnes and Cooke, 2013).


While concluding the study, it can be said that change management is a systematic approach in dealing with the changes both from the viewpoint of employees and organization. Various models of change management have identified different aspects of behavioral changes of the employees towards accepting new organizational changes and sustaining new changes. Kurt Lewin Theory describes three-stage process for successful implementation of organizational changes. These three stages are in term of freezing, unfreezing and refreezing. On the other hand, Kotter’s 8 Step model describes transformational process of the employees towards new changes. This theory highlights on creating effective team for implementing changes through creating a sense of urgency regarding it. Team build approach of this theory is quite different from other change management theory.

Effective application of ADKAR model can be seen in Wesfarmers Australia. The organization has implemented this change management theory for successfully designing financial report and pre-requisite at the end of each month. Apart from that, application of Kotter’s 8 Step model can be seen in Westpac Bank of Australia, while tried to build team in organization. While comparing Kurt Lewin theory and Kotter’s 8 step model, it can be said that the first emphasizes on individual approach to accept change and the second emphasizes on team building. ADKAR model emphasizes on positive participation of employees in change management process. On the other hand, William Bridges’s Transition Model emphasizes on forceful participation of employees in change management process.

Reference List

Appelbaum, S.H., Habashy, S., Malo, J.L. and Shafiq, H., 2012. Back to the future: revisiting Kotter’s 1996 change model. Journal of Management Development, 31(8), pp.764-782.

Barends, E., Janssen, B., ten Have, W. and ten Have, S., 2014. Difficult but doable: Increasing the internal validity of organizational change management studies. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 50, pp.50-54.

Burnes, B. and Cooke, B., 2013. Kurt Lewin’s Field Theory: A Review and Re‐evaluation. International journal of management reviews, 15(4), pp.408-425.

De Matos, J.A. and Clegg, S.R., 2013. Sustainability and organizational change. Journal of Change Management, 13(4), pp.382-386.

Fugate, M., Prussia, G.E. and Kinicki, A.J., 2012. Managing employee withdrawal during organizational change the role of threat appraisal. Journal of Management, 38(3), pp.890-914.

Hamraz, B., Caldwell, N.H. and Clarkson, P.J., 2013. A holistic categorization framework for literature on engineering change management.Systems Engineering, 16(4), pp.473-505.

Hornstein, H.A., 2015. The integration of project management and organizational change management is now a necessity. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), pp.291-298.

Jacobs, G., van Witteloostuijn, A. and Christe-Zeyse, J., 2013. A theoretical framework of organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 26(5), pp.772-792.

Nastase, M., Giuclea, M. and Bold, O., 2012. The impact of change management in organizations-a survey of methods and techniques for a successful change. Revista de Management Comparat International, 13(1), p.5.

Nordin, N., Deros, B.M., Wahab, D.A. and Rahman, M.N.A., 2012. A framework for organisational change management in lean manufacturing implementation. International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 12(1), pp.101-117.

Pieterse, J.H., Caniëls, M.C. and Homan, T., 2012. Professional discourses and resistance to change. Journal of Organizational Change Management,25(6), pp.798-818.

Shepherd, M.L., Harris, M.L., Chung, H. and Himes, E.M., 2014. Using the Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement Model to build a shared governance culture. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(6), p.90.

Smollan, R.K., 2013. Trust in change managers: the role of affect. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 26(4), pp.725-747.

van der Smissen, S., Schalk, R. and Freese, C., 2013. Organizational change and the psychological contract: How change influences the perceived fulfillment of obligations. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 26(6), pp.1071-1090.

Van der Voet, J., 2014. The effectiveness and specificity of change management in a public organization: Transformational leadership and a bureaucratic organizational structure. European Management Journal, 32(3), pp.373-382.

Wincek, J., Sousa, L.S., Myers, M.R. and Ozog, H., 2015. Organizational change management for process safety. Process Safety Progress, 34(1), pp.89-93.

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