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Individual & Organizational Change


Change is a reality we all live with.



Severe change can create tremendous stress and is usually accompanied by a great sense of loss.  This type of change usually involves something coming to an end-- perhaps a marriage, the life of someone close to you, or a job that was extremely important.  But stress-causing aren't always negative; they could also include marriage ( the end of lie as a single person), promotion ( loss of a lower position, which was well within your comfort zone), or relocation ( loss of familiar surroundings).


The 7 major life changes have basic characteristics in common:



Human process major transitions through basic, recognizable steps.

An emotionally healthy person takes each of these steps in order:

These steps can apply to any serious change in a person's life. It is generally agreed that you will adapt to the change with greater speed and ease if you can take each step in the order in which they appear.

Suffering through personal losses is never abnormal, nor is admitting your suffering a sign of weakness or inability.  The truth is that failing to go through each of these steps is often detrimental.  If you skip one, you will likely have to return to it at some time.


  1. Emotional Standstill. The first reaction someone usually has to the news of a sudden death, for example, is to come to an emotional standstill. "Oh no, they say ." How did it happen? When?"

  2. Denial.  With denial, the mind is keeping the sufferer from accepting reality fully and completely. Ideally, this denial period will be over in a few weeks or month. The longer the period lasts, the longer it will take to move through the healing process.

  3. Anger.  Some form of anger usually replaces the emotional vacuum left by denial.  The anger felt at this time usually contains a feeling of helplessness--of being a victim who was unable to prevent the change. Most psychologists advise that this anger should be expresses in a way that will not harm others.  This is the point where support groups can be helpful:  Having other people who will listen and empathize with you can help you defuse your anger.

  4. Helplessness.  At this step in the process, the individual is trying  but still failing to move forward.  The person is still suffering and now is afraid to bottom out into the helpless condition of total despair.  The individual will usually make one of two mistakes. Either the suffering person might try to share too much emotion with other people, or will retreat into isolation. Both extremes are negative. The first one is a quick way to lose friends, and the second is self-destructive.  To move through this stage is effectively, the individual must be constantly aware of the reality of others--that most friends cannot, and should not, enter into another person's sorrow.  The others in the person's life should be treated only to small doses of shared grief.

  5. Bottoming out.  Bottoming out means releasing the thoughts, tensions, memories, and emotions that force you to hold onto the past. At this point, you are allowing the life-completing process to take their course.  The shock, denial, and anger, are becoming memories.

  6. Experimenting.  Normal curiosities and desires come back and new experiences become evident.  You start to step out and try new things.

  7. Completion.  Some people call this step the rebirth.  The cycle is complete.  This is not to say that the past won't remerge, nor does it mean there won't be fall-back days. that sort of occasional regression is also normal.  Now there is a new perspective.  Far from being blocked out, the event has become a part of active memory that can be thought about without undue pain.


One danger with the seven-step recovery diagram is that people might be tempted to think they should passively let these steps happen to them.  The process is a natural process, but sufferers still need to maintain control of there destinies.  Going through the steps does require some effort, but millions of people who have never heard of these steps come through them successfully.  Knowing what the steps are can help you see that your emotional recovery is both important and normal.  It can also help you understand what is happening to you, so that you can evaluate your progress.


Organizational change is the change that a group of people must about to accept and implement. For a manager, this type of planned change is a real challenge

Change is a necessary part of doing business, yet members of an organization can get so comfortable with the status quo ( the way things already are) that is becomes easy to ignore warning signs that something has to change.


The Lewin Change Model

Kurt Lewin saw 3 different levels where any change has to happen.

First, the individuals who work for a company must be convinced that a change is essential, then guided to the necessary attitudes and behaviors. 
Second, the systems of an organization need to be changed.  Systems include work design, information systems, and compensation plans.
Third, the organizational climate must be adjusted.  Essential climate change include methods of conflict management and the decision-making process.


The Lewin change model contains 3 steps: unfreezing the status quo, moving to a new conditions, and refreezing to create a new status quo.


  1. Unfreezing.  On the individual level, this unfreezing could involve promoting employees or letting them go, preparing them for change, or convincing them of the need for the change. On the structural level, redesigning the organization could be the focus of the change effort. On the climate level, the company could create a new open-door policy or begin a data-based feedback system showing how employees are reacting to the proposed changes.

  2. Moving to another condition.  This is the step where the actual changes are made. On the individual level, people should be developing the new skills that are required for the change.  On the structural level, you would probably see changes in actual organization relationships, reward systems, or reporting relationships.  On the climate level , there should be more openness and trust, with fewer conflicts.

  3. Refreezing.  "Relatively secure", this step is referred to by Lewin.  The refreezing might involve new hiring policies, so that employees hired after the change would be more accepting of the new system.  During this stage the company must ensure that the new behaviors actually become new norms on the job.


This change model shows that to make change, the status quo must first be unfreezed.  After that, you can make change and then, in some cases, refreeze back to your original working environment.


Force Field Analysis

In the force field analysis model, the status quo is like a battlefield being fought for by two armies: the driving forces and the restraining forces.

The driving forces can be strengthened in several ways.  If resistance takes place, more driving force must be added.  Another method is to improve the quality of the driving forces,  Diminishing the restraining forces involves persuasion by showing the benefits of change--in short elimination the many factors that keep change from happening

Force Field analysis is positive in three ways:

  1. It gets the changers to plan for change

  2. It allows those who are organizing the change to take a close look at the forces likely to restraint.

  3. Analyzing the restraining forces before a conflict starts can keep the conflict from beginning at all.


This change model contains change with a battlefield, in which some forces attempt to bring change and others attempt to stop it.


Logical Imcrementalism

The logical imcrementalism model acknowledges that bringing about changes in a large organization is usually time-consuming and complicated.

The 5 stages of logical imcrementalism are:

1.  General concern.  A vague feeling or awareness of a threat or opportunity

2.  Broadcasting a general concern or idea without details.  The idea is tried out on the others in general terms, with details to be filled in later.  this procedure is often described as the trial balloon.

3.  Development of a formal plan for change.  The new idea is outlined both in terms of its nature, and if the method of making it happen

4.  Using an opportunity or crisis to begin the change plan.  Something important that gets everyone's attention, such as a crisis that the change plan can solve, can be used to get the ball rolling.

5.  Ongoing adaptation of the plan.


Critics of logical imcrementalism see it as generally ineffective; indeed, when the change plan is poorly define, the process does fail.  Logical incrementalism is most successful when used to bring a well designed plan into general acceptance.




The major problem with getting organizational change to take place is nearly always the same: human opposition.

The number one reason why people resist change is that the status quo is just often too comfortable.

Some reasons people resist change


The other extreme is bringing the change about too slowly.

Most excuses are related to fear and insecurity. Those 2 common denominators that seem to unite people who resist organization change.




Japanese success in manufacturing can be attributed to many factors, but in particular to the way that many Japanese organizations adapt to change.

1.  Japanese managers are generally not hesitant to get the employees directly involved with the change process from the very beginning.

2.  Before a change takes place, Japanese managers may spend hours studying the problem, examining each possible solution, and analyzing the possible results from any action they might be.

3.  Japanese companies typically have few layers of management, which reduces red tape and the traps of bureaucracy.  It also encourages communication to take place in all areas of the firm.

4.  If a problem comes up in the change process, most Japanese companies don't blame the employees.  Instead, they blame the process, the system, or the management.





A.  Become aware of it

B.  Talk about the change

C.  Maintain the organizational ideal



A.  Create a climate where change is acceptable.

B.  Involve everyone in the change effort.






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