Change Theories for Transitions

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Change Theory | Kurt Lewin | INTRODUCTION Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) is considered as the father of social psychology He was born in Germany, later emigrated to the US. He is well known for his writings on group dynamics, group therapy and social psychology. Kurt Lewin introduced his field theory concepts, emphasizing that the group differs from the simple sum of its parts. Lewin coined the term group dynamics in 1939. His field theory states that "one’s behavior is related both to one’s personal characteristics and to the social situation in which one finds oneself." LEWIN"S CHANGE THEORY His most influencial theory was his model of the change process in human systems. Kurt Lewin theorized a three-stage model of change that is known as the unfreezing-change-refreeze model that requires prior learning to be rejected and replaced. Lewin's theory states behavior as "a dynamic balance of forces working in opposing directions. " CONCEPTS Driving forces Driving forces are forces that push in a direction that causes change to occur. Driving forces facilitate change because they push the person in the desired direction. They cause a shift in the equilibrium towards change. Restraining forces Restraining forces are forces that counter driving forces. Restraining forces hinder change because they push the person in the opposite direction. Restraining forces cause a shift in the equilibrium which opposes change Equilibrium Equilibrium is a state of being where driving forces equal restraining forces and no change occurs Equilibrium can be raised or lowered by changes that occur between the driving and restraining forces. STAGES Consists of three distinct and vital stages: 1. “Unfreezing” Unfreezing is the process which involves finding a method of making it possible for people to let go of an old pattern that was counterproductive in

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