Sample Management Paper on The Change Management Theory

Kurt Lewin developed a leadership model known as the change management theory that comprises three fundamental steps; unfreeze, change, and refreeze. The approach was among the most controversial leadership theories during its initial stages of development. On the one hand, it allowed employees to adapt promptly to new changes while, on the other, it was management-driven, as opposed to an employee-centered.  However, despite its perceived effectiveness in promoting effective change management, the model was not fully embraced following its introduction due to its mechanistic and simplistic nature.

Critiques failed to embrace the change management theory due to the perception that it was overly simplistic and mechanistic. The traits made the model unsuitable for the contemporary business environment, where corporations undergo numerous unforeseen changes (Cummings et al., 2016). Additionally, the theory became subject to overheated debates due to its advocacy for a top-down management-centered approach that ruled it out as a useful model for firms that rely on continual innovation to boost their competitive edge (Hossan, 2015). The change management theory was more suitable for incremental and isolated change developments as opposed to radical change schemes. It also proved effective when applied to modest changes in steady conditions instead of large-scale ones that occur in unstable business environments (Hossan, 2015).  Hence, the change management theory became subject to intense criticisms during the first phases of its introduction due to its simplistic and mechanistic nature.

Lewin’s change management approach was a highly controversial leadership model when it was first developed because scholars perceived it as crude and mechanistic. Critiques found the basic tenets of the theory inappropriate to meet the needs of today’s business environment that demands flexibility, agility, and easy adaptation. They also pinpoint the theory’s advocacy for a top-down management-driven approach as one of its significant flaws because it makes the model unfit for corporations that engage in continuous innovation to achieve sales expansion, profit maximization, and gain a competitive advantage. The unsophisticated and mechanistic nature of Lewin’s change management theory was the core reason for its rejection following its introduction.



Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. G. (2016). Unfreezing change as three steps:   Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. Human Relations69(1), 33-60.

Hossan, C. (2015). Applicability of Lewin’s change management theory in Australian

Local government. International Journal of Business and Management10(6), 53.