The History of Change Management Focused Predominantly on Lewin's Thoeries

Change management is a vast and constantly changing field. From Lewin’s (1951) theories regarding the three stages of change to the new affective models developed by George 81 Jones (2001), there has been a great deal of academic and practical development. However, despite such dynamism, there exist clearly defined methodologies for understanding and analyzing change in an organization. Initially, the history of change management has been predominantly focused upon the theories crafted by Lewin with later work to provide a richer basis upon which the field further develops Lewin‘s Theories As discussed in the theoretical review written by Weick and Quinn (1999), Kurt Lewin proposed his model for organizational change.

Specifically, change within an organization occurs in three stages-unfreeze, change, and refreeze-and this change is often encountered by resistance by members of the organization via force analysis.

This theory has been the predominant theoretical framework for organizational change for nearly 40 years. While Lewin‘s work has been used as a central framework for researchers and practitioners, much of recent development has integrated new concepts to create a better-developed field, Recent Theoretical Developments.

  With the maturation of any field of academic inquiry, the integration of outside ideas with existing theory typically results in a dynamic fusion of ideas that bolsters new research. For instance, integrating Lewin’s three-stage theory with affective and cognitive thought process research, George and Jones (2001) have crafted a new model for the experience of the individual in a change situation. Furthermore, by focusing on Lewin’s specific three stages of change, a new model has been developed In particular, the work of Gersick (1991) argues that change is, in fact, a period of punctuated equilibrium—the resistive forces are in balance-with periods of incremental adaptation or rapid organizational change.

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Among others, these theories provide an excellent derivation of Lewins’ existing work Recommendations. For Practitioners,  It is in the opinion of the author that the most important recommendation for individuals managing change within an organization is to become familiar with the work by Kurt Lewin. This enables practitioners to have a well-rounded theoretical basis upon which the majority of recent change management research is rooted. Additionally, Lewin’s theories are among the most broadly accepted in the field of change management. Thus, it would be unlikely to find research that would negatively impact a researcher’s view of the world.

Nevertheless, it cannot be overstated the impact Kurt Levin’s research has had on the early research conducted in the field of change management. With modern change management research producing many divergent theories and frameworks, it is important for practitioners to be up-to-date with the latest change management research. However, while many of these newly developed theories are divergent from each other, they all share a basis of the influential work by Kurt Lewin. His concepts and theories remain, to this day, influential and will continue to inspire new areas of inquiry within change management.

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The History of Change Management Focused Predominantly on Lewin's Thoeries. (2023, Mar 10). Retrieved from

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