Change management model

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Change management is an essential competence of organization for continuous improvement, allowing transformation of it into a learning organization.

Change management is defined as the active shaping the future of the company, consisting of developing and maintaining the relationship between the objectives and resources and the needs of the market, according to their capabilities and uncertainties posed by the environment. Management must be based on the requirements of efficiency, ie must include appropriate methods (algorithms) for processes of control, design and implementation of changes in the company. They constitute a new, perfect conditions for the operation and collaboration with the environment.

Structure of the change management model

Organizations consist of mutually dependent systems. Managers cannot change one without changing others. Example : change in technology without changing the organizational structure will make the change undesired , and new technology will not be accepted. Recognition of the sources and causes of change and organizational capacity factors means that the process of change must be systemic in nature. Scheme of this system approach is presented in Fig 1.

Fig. 1. Systemic approach to change management

This model focuses on main elements and the relations between them, it is a point of reference in defining the nature and extent of the changes, and allows the identification of management problems. The analysis must be conducted in many cross sections and in many directions, but special attention is needed to assess the match in the following areas: strategy and the environment, strategy and structure, strategy and management, and strategy and people.

Strategy and the environment

The purpose of the analysis and the process of making changes is to pursue strategic options to choose from. They will strengthen the position of the organization in the environment, and provides direction for the activities of the organization and in accordance with its resources and capabilities.

Strategy and structure

Organizational strategy can not be formulated solely in terms of external challenges. The strategic direction of the organization activities must also be supported by proper organizational structure. A fundamental change is frequently generated by the process of adaptation of resources and culture to the changing business environment. It should also be pointed out that the internal fit between organizational structure, management systems and human resources is crucial for achieving positive results of changes.

Changes in organizational structure stems from: the division of labour and authority within the organization, distribution of organizational power, the way the coordination and integration tasks, organizational behaviour and communication networks. Most often organizational structures changes to replace the flat hierarchical structures, with a limited number of middle-level managers. Role of the teamwork is strengthened.

Strategy and management systems

Management systems are understood as the technologies used, existing solutions, or established practices, as well as the different mechanisms used in the process of achieving the objectives and functioning of the organization. .And they remain in close connection with the strategy and with the other elements of organizational infrastructure.

Problems in this area include methods of acquiring information that is necessary to perform the tasks and decision-making in a new environment Choosing instruments that are necessary to achieve goals, and methods of assessing the effectiveness of employee. The most commonly undertaken reorganization in this area include changing of reward systems, new training programmes and performance appraisal systems, career development of employees, organization of time and space, new information systems and communications and improved customer service systems.

Strategy and people

No factor is as important as the changes in the work force. It should be a priority in preparing changes and the planning process. From the perspective of the employee, change is frequently defined as a serious disruption of existing patterns of behaviour and / or expectations. Understanding of human behaviour, both as a source of inertia to organizational changes and the stimulant for changes, can be used in efficient management in changing organizations.

Modelling reactions to change

The main objective of change is based on the vision of the future organizational structure, its systems and behavior of the employees. Concepts of organizational change, focus attention on people and their ability to adapt to new solutions, but also on the negative reactions and resistance to change. These reactions are caused by serious disruption of already existing values, practices and professional habits and expectations.

Experience shows that people are more likely to resist than to support the change. These negative reactions are protest against the destruction of the prior order, established patterns of organizational behaviour. The transformation of the mentality of the employees is the most difficult issue in the whole process.

Essence of the change process model

K. Lewin model

One of the most popular approaches to changes was formulated almost half a century ago by K. Lewin. He presents the change as a sequential three-phase process:

  • Defrost - of existing patterns of behaviour, because of dissatisfaction with the current state of the organization and recognition of the human need to change. Managers use different tactics, depending on the identified resistance to change (for example, causing anxiety, which lies at the basis of the rejection of the existing methods of operations and the opening of the new solutions). This phase is also called the destabilization of the present state.
  • Conversion involves going to the planned state organization. The result of this phase are employees with the new values, attitudes. Leader of the change shapes attitudes to follow new ways of action, or creates a situation that encourages independent learning and creating new attitudes and behaviours. While in the first case, the change of behaviour takes place in increments, the latter approach is evolutionary and it is supported by experimentation and training.
  • Freezing of new attitudes and behaviours is necessary to maintain the change effects. It is a phase which consists in consolidating the new processes and procedures. It is associated with the supporting and rewarding employees for maintaining new behaviour.

See also:

Change process by B. Barnes

Stages of change process by B. Barnes:

  • Recognition of the need and the type of change,
  • Planning and implementation of the changes,
  • Commitment,
  • Maintaining the pace and direction of change,
  • Continuous improvement.


  • Barnes, L. B. (1967). Organizational change and field experiment methods. Methods of organizational research, 57-111.
  • Lewin, K. (1947). Group decision and social change. Readings in social psychology, 3, 197-211.
  • Weick, K. E., & Quinn, R. E. (1999). Organizational change and development. Annual review of psychology, 50(1), 361-386.