Models of Organization Change

PA 507 20 August 2007


Our understanding of organization change has evolved since the 1940’s when the initial model was developed. These slides take you through some of the prevalent models of organizational change. The models are presented in chronological order.


Lewin [1951]


Basic Assumptions
Focused on individuals What is occurring at any stage is a result of opposing forces. The status quo - what is happening right now - is the result of forces pushing in opposite directions. Change is a process which entails moving from one equilibrium point to another.


Stage 1: Unfreezing
Unfreezing: Creating motivation and readiness to change through:

• Disconfirmation (creates pain or

• Creation of guilt or anxiety • Provision of psychological safety

Stage 2: Moving
Changing through cognitive restructuring: Helping the client to see things, judge things, feel things, and react to things, differently based on a new point of view obtained through:

• Identifying with a new role model, mentor,

• Scanning the environment for new info.

Stage 3: Refreezing
Refreezing: Helping the client to integrate the new point of view into:

• The total personality and self-concept • Significant relationships


Lippitt, Watson, and Westly [1958]


Basic Assumptions
Focused on change process Expanded Lewin’s 1951 model into seven stages Road map for consulting relationship


Seven stages

1. Developing need for change [unfreezing] 2. Establishing a change relationship


Seven stages
3. Clarifying or diagnosing the clients system’s problems 4. Examining alternative routes and goals; establishing goals and intentions of actions. 5. Transforming intentions into actual change efforts. [stages 3, 4, 5, correspond to Lewin’s moving phase]


Seven stages
6. Generalizing and stabilizing change. [Corresponds to Lewin’s refreezing phase.] 7. Achieving a terminal relationship, that is, ending the client-consultant relationship.


Kilmann’s Beyond the Quick Fix [1989]


Basic Assumptions
Focused on change process and critical leverage points An attempt at total system change That change will take 1 to 5 years


Killmann [1989]
The process has five sequential stages: 1. Initiating the program 2. diagnosing the problems 3. scheduling the “tracks” 4. implementing the “tracks” 5. evaluating the results


Killmann [1989]
Tracks are five critical leverage points, that, when functioning properly, cause an organization to be successful. They include: 1. culture 2. management skills 3. team-building 4. strategy and structure 5. rewards

Burke-Litwin Model of Organizational Change [2002]


Basic Assumptions
Demonstrates how to create first-order and second order change. Differentiates between organizational climate and organizational culture


Burke-Litwin Model
Organizational climate is defined as people’s perception and attitudes about the organization -- whether it is a good or bad place to work, friendly or unfriendly, hard working or easygoing and so forth. These perceptions are easy to change because they are reactions to the current managerial and organizational practices.


Burke-Litwin Model
Organizational culture is defined deep-seated assumptions, values, and beliefs that are enduring, often unconscious, and difficult to change. Changing culture is much more difficult than changing climate.


Burke-Litwin Model
First-order change goes by many different labels, including: transactional, evolutionary, adaptive, incremental, or continuous change. In first-order change some of the feature of the organization change, but the fundamental nature of the organization remains the same.


Burke-Litwin Model
Second-order change is also known as, including: transformational, revolutionary, radical, incremental, or discontinuous change. In second-order change the nature of the organization is fundamentally and substantially altered--the organization is transformed.


Burke-Litwin Model of Organizational Change: Factors involved in First-Order Change
Management Practices Structure Work Unit Climate

Systems (policies and procedures)

Task requirements skills / abilities

Motivation Individual and organizational performance Individual Needs and Values


Burke-Litwin Model of Organizational Change: Factors involved in Second-Order Change
External Environment

Leadership Mission and Strategy Individual and organizational performance

Organizational Culture

Burke-Litwin Model of Organizational Performance and Change External Environment

Mission and Strategy


Organizational Culture Systems (policies and procedures)


Management Practices

Work Unit Climate Task requirements skills / abilities


Individual Needs and Values

Individual and organizational performance

Porras-Robertson Model of Organizational Change [1992]


Basic Assumptions
Altering feature in the work setting causes changes in individual behavior, which in turn lead to individual and organizational improvements. The work setting plays a critical role, and consists of four factors, including: (a) organizing arrangements, (b) social factors, (c) physical setting, (d) technology.


Porras-Robetson Model of Organizational Change


Organizing Arrangments Social Factors
1. Goals 2. Strategies 3. Structures 4.Administrative policies and procedures 5. Administrative Systems 6. Reward systems 7. Ownership 1. Culture 2. Management Style 3. Interaction process 4. Informal Patterns and networks 5. Individual attributes

Physical Setting Technology

1. Space configuration 2. Physical ambiance 3. Interior design 4. Architectural design

1. Tools, equipment, and machinery 2. Information technology 3. Job design 4. Work flow design 6. Technical procedures 7. Technical systems


Porras-Robetson Model of Organizational Change

W o r k S e t t i n g M e m b e r s Organization performance Vision

Organizing Arrangments Social Factors

Physical Setting Technology

Individual Cognitions Individual development

On the job behaviors Organization