Approaches To Managing organizational Change A. Lewin's Three-Step Model - Motivation Theory

1. Kurt Lewin argued that successful change in organizations should follow three steps

  • Unfreezing the status quo

  • The movement to a new state

  • Refreezing the new change to make it permanent

2. The status quo can be considered to be an equilibrium state.


3. To move from this equilibrium—to overcome the pressures of both individual resistance and

group conformity—unfreezing is necessary.

  • The driving forces, which direct behavior away from the status quo, can be increased.

  • The restraining forces, which hinder movement from the existing equilibrium, can be decreased.

  • A third alternative is to combine the first two approaches.


4. Once the change has been implemented, the new situation needs to be refrozen so that it can be sustained over time.

  • Unless this last step is taken, there is a very high chance that the change will be short-lived and that employees will attempt to revert to the previous equilibrium state.

  • The objective of refreezing is to stabilize the new situation by balancing the driving and restraining forces.

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