A Response to Critique of the Refreeze Step in Lewin’s Model of Organizational Change from the Viewpoint of Organizational Behavior
McAleese, Irene, Creed, Andrew and Zutshi, Ambika 2013, A Response to Critique of the Refreeze Step in Lewin’s Model of Organizational Change from the Viewpoint of Organizational Behavior, International Journal of the Academy of Organizational Behavior Management, vol. January-March 2013, no. 4, pp. 104-124.
Problem Statement This paper responds to criticism of Kurt Lewin’s three step model of organizational change in increasingly turbulent environments. It explores whether the refreeze step of Kurt Lewin’s notable three step model is still applicable to organizational change processes in the age of globalisation and digitalisation.
Method Literature review and critical analysis of applied examples are used to provide an overview of Kurt Lewin’s three-step change model. Authors’ observations and reflections are integrated in the discussion. The changing contemporary environment and the implications for the refreeze step of Lewin’s model are accordingly discussed.
Conclusions The paper concludes that a balance of stability and movement; of discrete and emergent change; is the reality for today’s organizations, and forms the touchstone for Lewin’s formulation of change theories. Alignment is observed between notions of desired equilibrium in Lewin’s model and the contemporary underpinnings of sustainability. Technology and the modern pace of organizational change are also factors to consider. There has hence been an adaptation of his theoretical heritage that is current and sufficiently robust to withstand the criticisms of the refreeze stage.
Field of Research
150311 Organisational Behaviour
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
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