Spector (2010) stated “organizational change is typically initiated in response to a trigger event or a shift in the environment that precipitates a need for altered strategies and new patterns of employee behavior” (p.18).
According to Spector (2010), to understand and analyze the dynamics of change it is important to sort out and distinguish the different approaches that can be taken. In chapter one Spector gives the reader insight into the Concord Bookshop, a bookstore that is in the process of implementing new changes.
Spector (2010), states that “for the Concord Bookshop, the increasing penetration of online booksellers into the store’s market space triggered the requirement for strategic renewal” (p.18).
Kurt Lewin developed a change model to assist organizations such as the Concord Bookshop with changes. There are three steps in Lewin’s model and they are: Unfreezing, Transitioning or Moving, and Refreezing. This paper will define Kurt Lewin’s three phases of organizational change and explain why the Concord Bookshop failed at implementing change effectively.
The first phase of Lewin’s change model is known as “unfreezing.” Lewin states that many people will naturally resist change and thus the goal of unfreezing stage is to create an awareness of how the status quo, or current level of acceptability, is hindering the organization in some way().
Today’s organizations are facing many challenges such as threats of inflation, deflation, and recession resulting worsening the economy of the United States. According to Borkowski (2005) and Spector (2010), they state that the economy worldwide is very difficult nowadays because many internal and external forces. One of the best seller bookshop, the Concord Bookshop, lost control over the market ...
That means “old behaviors, ways of thinking, processes, people and organizational structures must all be carefully examined to show employees how necessary a change is for the organization to create or maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace”().
The second phase in Lewin’s change model is “transitioning or moving”. In this stage Lewin states it is a time marked with uncertainty and fear, which makes it the hardest to overcome. This is because in this stage employees begin to learn the new behaviors, processes and ways of thinking.
The third stage in Lewin’s change model is known as “refreezing”. It is also known as the act of reinforcing and or stabilizing after a new change has been implemented. This stage is very important because this is where an organization makes sure that the people don’t go back to doing things the old way.
The Concord Bookshop was an independent bookstore that was having difficulty keeping up with competition from chains and the Internet (Spector, 2010).
Because of this issue, management decided to implement change in order to stay abreast of its competitors. However, they failed to take into consideration the opinions of their employees and thus made changes without following the first stage of Lewin’s model, which is the unfreezing stage. The employees did not see a need for change and were simply satisfied with the status quo.
They were frozen and need to be thawed out first in order for change to be implemented. Lewin states that people are naturally resistant to change and so the goal of the management team at the Concord Bookshop should have been to show the employees how sticking with the status quo was hindering the organization from staying abreast in the book selling business. This was their first mistake in implementing change that the managers of the Concord Bookshop made and thus what created conflict in their organization.
The second step that the Concord Bookshop managers failed to follow was the transitioning or moving stage in Lewin’s model. If they would have implemented the unfreezing stage then they would have transitioned right into the transition stage and or moving stage in which they could have helped the employees better understand why the need for change was necessary. Since they did not implement the changing phase and showed the employees why change was needed they had resistance from their employees. The third stage the Concord Bookshop should have followed was the refreezing stage.
Today’s business world is constantly evolving. To keep up with the rapidly shifting environment, companies introduce process changes frequently within their organization to improve performance, and outdo their competition. In this memo, the pros and cons of frequent organizational changes are first investigated. By going through the effectiveness of adopting specific activities and leadership ...
In this stage of Lewins model the Concord Bookshop would have been reinforcing their new change program to their employees and thus creating a new status quo or a new normal and making sure that the employees did not revert back to the old way of thinking.
In conclusion, the managers of the Concord Bookshop implemented change in an ineffective way which caused conflict and affected the goal of pursuing a prosperous business. Following Lewin’s model of change can be beneficial to any organization in avoiding conflict and creating a mess of things in order to implement change.
Change is always difficult for everyone, but when it is introduced in a way where people can understand why the change is necessary then an organization will be less likely to encounter as much resistance as the Concord Bookshop managers faced.