If you’re looking for a change management model that has a low learning curve and is easy to comprehend, then Lewin’s change theory is going to be one of your best options. This is why we will evaluate the Advantages and disadvantages of Lewin’s change model in administration. The Kurt Lewin change model forgoes the jargon and uses easy-to-understand concepts. This is one of the reasons it has stood the test of time and is still in widespread use today.
However, with that simplicity can come a few drawbacks. For example, some of the detail lacking in Lewin’s change management model could leave you with holes in your strategy. This means that you may miss something important that could derail the success of your project.
You may also find the language about “forces” and “breaking equilibrium” in Kurt Lewin’s model a bit too negative. This is especially true when working with an entirely different generation of employees than Kurt Lewin was studying back in the 1940s.
Whether the pros of Kurt Lewin’s model outweigh the cons will depend upon your organization’s needs.
It remains one of the top change management models that’s being used by businesses every day to guide their transitional change projects. The Kurt Lewin model of change management includes a 3-stage process Kurt Lewin developed. This is called a change model involving three steps: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing, which many companies find simple to understand and implement. It’s one of several change management frameworks that organizations can use as a roadmap for change.
Advantages of Lewin’s change model
1. It’s Easy to Understand
Some change frameworks can take a lot of training to learn. Further, people can easily get lost within a sea of acronyms. Lewin’s change theory is pretty straightforward, with three main stages to follow and a few steps within each one. The Force Field Analysis in Lewin’s change model is also a simple concept. People can catch onto it easily and begin using it right away.
It Focuses on Behaviors
The behavioral psychology used in the Kurt Lewin change model gets to the heart of what causes people to either resist or support change. This focus on people is actually in agreement with many other change models out there that also focus on the human element of change.
2. The Model Makes Sense
When going through the Kurt Lewin change model, the Unfreeze, Change, Freeze logic makes sense to many people. Its simplicity helps people get a better understanding of change management as a whole without getting lost in a lot of industry jargon or complicated steps.
3. Analyzes behavioral elements through psychology
The Kurt Lewin change model is effective and still used all these years later. This is because it’s based upon sound behavioral psychology. It is designed to understand why people resist change and put the forces in place to drive people to change acceptance and support. One of the biggest reasons that Lewin’s change management model works is that it uses clear concepts and illustrations that make change management easy for many to understand.
Disadvantages of Lewin’s change model
Before you decide to adopt the Kurt Lewin model, you’ll also want to consider the disadvantages. As a result, not everyone thinks this is the best change model out there. The following are some of the disadvantages of Lewin’s change theory.
1. Kurt Lewin’s Change Model is Not Detailed Enough
Some think that Lewin’s change management model is a little too simple. The steps within each phase can be interpreted in different ways. It’s often necessary to “fill in the blanks” using another change management model.
2. Kurt Lewin’s Change Model is Too Rigid & Doesn’t Reflect Modern Times
The Freeze stage of Kurt Lewin’s model sometimes comes under scrutiny by those that say it’s too rigid because it “freezes” behaviors that will only need to be unfrozen again in the near future due to how fast technology advances. It causes companies to constantly change to keep up. They feel the last stage should be more flexible. People argue that the Kurt Lewin change theory is somewhat outdated. It was developed in 1947 compared to Max Weber well before technology became such a central part of today’s workplaces.
3. Kurt Lewin’s Change Model can be Seen as Combative, Rather Than Nurturing
With the emphasis on breaking up the equilibrium during the Unfreezing process, and basically “shaking things up,” Lewin’s three-step model can be seen as combative. Instead of fostering a nurturing change environment on the Advantages and disadvantages of Lewin’s change model, some say it puts too much focus on the two opposing forces fighting to gain the advantage.