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A Comparison of 5

popular Models for

Managing Business

Jan 2013
Change Management Models- a Comparison

• George Box, a statistician, famously wrote that "essentially, all models are wrong, but some
are useful” . The field of change management continues to prove him right.

• Organizational change management (OCM) is a structured approach in an organization for

ensuring that changes are smoothly and successfully implemented, and that the lasting
benefits of change are achieved. That is easier said than done.

• Nevertheless, there are many management consultants, clinical psychologists and social
scientists who have carried out extensive research on the dynamics of change and proposed
models and frameworks to understand the same.

• We present here a comparison of five popular models. By no means is this list complete. The
complexity and unpredictability of human behavior will ensure that the field of change
management will continuously produce more frameworks to study and more models to adopt.
Kotter’s Eights Steps to Change John Kotter’s (1996) eight steps to transforming
organizations are based upon analysis of 100 different
organizations going through change. His research
highlighted eight key lessons which he converted into a
practical eight-step model. Although represented by Kotter
in a linear fashion, experience suggests that it is better to
think of the steps as a continuous cycle to ensure that the
momentum of the change is maintained.

Establish a Form a
Develop a vision Communicate
Sense of powerful, guidin
& Strategy the vision
Urgency g coalition

Plan and create Consolidate Anchor in the
Obstacles &
short-term wins gains culture
empower action

Benefits Limitations
1. Focus on buy-in of employees as the 1. The model is clearly top-down, it
focus for success gives no room for co-creation or
2. Clear steps which can give a other forms of true participation.
guidance for the process 2. Can lead to frustrations among
3. Fits well into the culture of classical employees if the stages of
hierarchies grief and individual needs are not
taken into consideration.

More at :
The ideas of Bridges(1991) on transition provide a good
understanding of what is going on when an organizational
Bridge’s Transition Model change takes place. He differentiates between change
and transition, according to him Change is a situational
and happens without people transitioning and transition is
psychological and is a three phase process where people
gradually accept the details of the new situation and the
changes that come with it.


End what ‘used to be’; identify Individuals within the Gain acceptance of the
who is losing what, openly organization feel disoriented purpose; Communicate a
acknowledge the loss, mark with falling motivation and picture of how the new
the endings and continuously increasing anxiety. Ensure that organization will look and feel
repeat information about what people recognize the neutral ; Communicate and gain a
is changing and why. zone and treat it as part of the step-by-step understanding of
organization's change process. how the organization will

Benefits Limitations
1. You can use the model to 1. While the model is useful for
understand how people feel as you implementing change, it's not a
guide them through change. It substitute for other change
clarifies the psychological effect of management approaches. It cant
change. be used as an independent change
management model.
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Roger’s Technology Adoption Curve
The technology adoption lifecycle model, based on his
theory of diffusion of innovation(1962), describes the
adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation,
according to the demographic and psychological
characteristics of defined adopter groups. The process of
adoption over time is typically illustrated as a classical
normal distribution or "bell curve." The model indicates
that the first group of people to use a new product is
called "innovators," followed by "early adopters." Next
come the early and late majority, and the last group to
eventually adopt a product are called "laggards.”

The curve creates the foundation of 5 step process of

technology adoption- Knowledge, Persuasion, Decision,
Implementation, Confirmation

Benefits Limitations
1. Helps in creating an understanding 1. People need not fall into one Change
of the audience for change. Adoption Category; they drift from
2. Provides inputs to identify opinion category to category depending on the
makers and influencers. specific change/innovation.
2. The adoption terms are accurate only in
hindsight; they tell you nothing about
how a population might respond to a
More at :
The Change Curve is based on a model originally
Kubler- Ross Five Stage Model developed in the 1960s by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross to
explain the grieving process. She proposed that a
The Change Curve terminally ill patient would progress through 5 stages of
grief when informed of their illness. By the 1980s, the
Change Curve was a firm fixture in change management
circles. The curve, and its associated emotions, can be
used to predict how performance is likely to be affected by
the announcement and subsequent implementation of a
significant change.

1. Not all change is bad. This model
assumes the worst reaction to
Benefits change.
1. An individual’s reaction to change is 2. It is difficult to identify the
well captured, this forms a good transition between stages.
foundation to develop 3. Difficult to apply to a group
communication strategy
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Developed in 1998 by Prosci, after research with more
than 300 companies undergoing major change projects.
Prosci’s ADKAR Model ADKAR is a goal-oriented change management model
that allows change management teams to focus their
activities on specific business results. The model was
initially used as a tool for determining if change
management activities like communications and training
were having the desired results during organizational

1. It encapsulates the business/process
dimension of change and the
individual dimension of change
2. Provides a clear management
checklist to manage change

1. Misses out on the role of
Leadership and principles of
programme management to
create clarity and provide
direction to chnage
More at :
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