Change Theory: Kurt Lewin’s Change Model

Table of Contents


This essay offers a brief comparison of two Change Models. Lippitt and Lewin pioneered these two change theories. Lippitt’s Change Theory offers seven steps while Lewin’s model offers three. The paper offers a detailed analysis of Kurt Lewin’s Change Theory. The paper also applies the theory to an organizational problem. The essay also summarizes the benefits and weaknesses of Lewin’s model.

Comparing Two Change Theories

Lippitt’s Change Theory analyzes “the responsibilities undertaken by different change agents” (Buonocore, 2004, p. 173). The theory presents seven unique steps. These seven steps include “diagnosing the existing problem, assessing the existing motivation, identifying the best resources for the targeted change, selecting the necessary change agents, maintaining the change, and withdrawing from the process after the change becomes a critical aspect of the organizational culture” (Kritsonis, 2005, p. 3).

On the other hand, Lewin’s Change Theory offers three unique steps. These stages include “unfreezing, change, and freezing” (Quinn, Spreitzer, & Brown, 2000, p. 152). The theory fails to identify the roles of different change agents. The model encourages every employee to be part of the change. The “theory focuses on the forces that can promote the targeted change” (Kritsonis, 2005, p. 3).

Analysis of Kurt Lewin’s Change Theory

The first phase of Lewin’s theory prepares an organization for the proposed change. Every individual in the firm should support the targeted change. Managers should analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the projected change. The “second phase supports the change itself” (Quinn et al., 2000, p. 156). This process encourages every individual to become a critical part of the proposed change. Managers should use various practices such as training and coaching to achieve their goals.

Organizations should develop the best strategies whenever implementing new changes. The third stage is freezing. This stage “makes the change a critical part of the targeted organization” (Kritsonis, 2005, p. 4). The implemented change eventually becomes a critical aspect of the organization. The theory promotes positive practices such as mentorship and continuous planning. However, Lewin’s Change Theory does not identify the responsibilities of different change agents.

Applying the Theory to a Problem

I recently encountered a major problem in my nursing institution. The majority of my workmates were unable to address their problems. This situation made it impossible for our team to offer the best healthcare to different patients (Kritsonis, 2005). Every member of our team was unhappy with the situation. Lewin’s Change Model can deal with this problem (Mitchell, 2013). Nurse Practitioners (NPs) can use the above theory to deal with different obstacles.

NPs can begin by “unfreezing the situation experienced in the facility” (Buonocore, 2004, p. 176). Nurses and caregivers should identify the issues affecting their healthcare facilities. This process will ensure every caregiver understands the challenges affecting his or her institution. The second stage is implementing the targeted change. This stage reduces the challenges affecting different working environments. Caregivers “should promote the concept of teamwork” (Mitchell, 2013, p. 35). The final stage is freezing. This stage will ensure the change becomes a critical part of the institution.

The Benefits of Lewin’s Change Model

Lewin’s model identifies the major issues affecting different organizations. The “model ensures every change is planned in a professional manner” (Finkelman, 2006, p. 48). Managers can use the model to visualize and manage every stage of the proposed change. The theory also encourages employees and stakeholders to be part of the targeted change. However, the theory “fails to support the idea of continuous change and development” (Quinn et al., 2000, p. 160). This weakness explains why “caregivers should ensure every organizational change becomes a continuous process” (Kritsonis, 2005, p. 5).

Reference List

Buonocore, D. (2004). Leadership in Action: Creating A Change in Practice. AACN Clinical Issues, 15(2), 170-181.

Finkelman, A. (2006). Leadership and Management in Nursing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kritsonis, A. (2005). Comparison of Change Theories. International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity, 8(1), 1-7.

Mitchell, G. (2013). Selecting the Best Theory to Implement Planned Change. Nursing Management, 20(1), 32-37.

Quinn, R., Spreitzer, G., & Brown, M. (2000). Changing Others Through Changing Ourselves: The Transformation of Human Systems. Journal of Management Inquiry, 9(2), 147-164.

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