1. Change is the powerful word. It ignites surrounding, it moves the process to be different, it transpires the act of transitioning individual in the organization. The change would never happen with a static mentality, rigid ideology, and monocular world view.
2. Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) is a father of social psychology. He introduced Change Theory. According to him, behavior is the end result of a dynamic balance of forces working in opposing directions. The first force is called driving force. Driving forces are forces that push in a direction that causes the change to occur in the desired direction. The second force is restraining force. The restraining forces are forces that counter driving forces. These forces hinder changes because they push in the opposite direction. The winner will create a new equilibrium i.e. a state of being where driving forces equal restraining forces.
3. The first stage in creating change is ‘unfreezing’ which is the process that involves finding a method of making it possible for people to let go of an old pattern that was unproductive. Unfreezing is necessary to overcome resistance and group conformity. Increase the driving forces and decrease the restraining forces can facilitate unfreezing.
4. Moving to the next level of change involve a process of change in thought, emotion and behavior. Refreezing is establishing the change as a new habit so that it now becomes the SOP. It is easy to go back to the old ways if new habits are not fully established.
5. Lippitt, Watson, and Westley created a seven-step theory that focuses more on the role and responsibility of the change agent than on the evolution of the change itself. Lippitt’s Phases of Change Theory suggested 7 steps as below;
(a) Diagnose the problem.
(b) Assess the motivation and capacity for change.
(c) Assess the resources and motivation of the change agent. This includes the change agent’s commitment to change, power, and stamina.
(d) Choose progressive change objects. In this step, action plans are developed and strategies are established.
(e) The role of the change agents should be selected and clearly understood by all parties so that expectations are clear. Examples of roles are: cheerleader, facilitator, and expert.
(f) Maintain the change. Communication, feedback, and group coordination are essential elements in this step of the change process.
(g) Gradually terminate from the helping relationship. The change agent should gradually withdraw from their role over time. This will occur when the change becomes part of the organizational culture.
6. Prochaska and DiClemente’s Change Theory suggested that people pass through a series of stages when change occurs. The stages are:
(d) action, and
7. Precontemplation exists when an individual is unaware or fails to acknowledge the problems without engaging in any change process activities. Individuals in this stage do not want to change their behavior and may insist that their behavior is normal. Contemplation exists when the individual raises consciousness of the issue. Individuals in this stage are thinking about changing their behavior, but they are not ready to commit to the change process yet.
8. The next stage of Prochaska and DiClemente’s change theory is preparation. Preparation occurs when the individual is ready to change their behavior and plans to do so within the next two weeks. These individuals will need counseling, social support, and assistance with problem-solving during this stage of change. The action stage follows shortly thereafter. It is characterized by an increase in coping with behavioral change and the individual begins to engage in change activities. Finally, maintenance is the last stage of Prochaska and DiClemente’s change theory. In this final stage, actions to reinforce the change are taken coupled with establishing the new behavioral change to the individual’s lifestyle and norms. This stage may last six months up to the lifespan of the individual. Counseling to avoid relapses is necessary to ensure a successful long-term change.
(Based partly on the work of Alicia Kritsonis: Comparison of Change Theories, International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity. Vol. 8, No. 1, 2004-05)