Organizations Social

Lewin field theory: organizational change model.

teoría del campo modelo cambio Lewin

In the decade of the years 20 of the past century, when the behaviourism was the predominant current in psychology according to which the behaviour depended only of the surroundings, arrived the affirmations of Kurt Lewin (1890-1947). According to Lewin, the behaviour produced  by the interaction between the individuals and the surroundings. It is by this that his works had a big repercussion in the technicians of dynamics of group so important in the organisations of today day. His works gave place to the theory of the field.

Theory of the field of Lewin: the model of change organizacional.

According to the theory of the field developed by Kurt Lewin, exist strengths and factors inside the psychological surroundings of an individual or of a group that determine the situation. These strengths generally are two and of opposite sense. On the one hand they exist the motivating strengths to the aims and on the other hand the strengths inhibidoras that paralyse the progression to put them aim.

With these two basic premises, Lewin develop his model of theory of field like fundamental pillar to achieve transformations and changes in the organisations with guarantee of success so much to personal level like community. The essence of the model splits that to be able to attain a change existoso, the leader of the organisation has to take into account all the influences received of the people indivuales that form the organisation as of the surroundings where works to have a vision holística of the situation to analyse as they interact between them.  The able person to know that his own destination depends of the destination of all the group will be more had to assume responsibilities by the very common. All need ofall .

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Phases of the model of change.

Lewin Proposed a process of change organizacional in three phases: thawing, change, recongelación.

Phases of the process of change organizacional according to the theory of field of Kurt Lewin.


In the first phase, flame of thawing, makes  a previous process of preparation and analysis where will have to recognise  the need of change and delete the beliefs and previous practices that prevented the growth.

The phase of thawing is the most complex of all because of the high resistance that the people or the employees have in front of the changes or daily routines what can diminish the performance in the work in front of the new situation or the new system of work posed in the company. To reduce this resistance to the change during this phase have to make  strategies of effective communication that transmit the need of change to the employees and boost his active participation in the process. Achieve implant an illusion splits for explaining consistently the reasons and the vision of the change organizacional, fundamental to achieve the identification of the employees with the new project.

The people tend to put a defensive barrier in front of the novelties and costs us go out of what now calls  zone of comfort, by this reason has to explain  razonadamente that the use of the new tools of work or the new methodology will be beneficial for all, no only for the own company.

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It is what sucede for example, when it implants  a new computer system. Applying the theory of the field, have to detect  the motivational strengths that favour the change and the inhibitory strengths. In the case of the computer system, a motivational strength could be do see to the employee that the new system will facilitate him the heaviest work and will automate it. However, they can exist inhibitory strengths that entorpezcan the process, as it can be the need of specific training in new technologies in people without previous knowledges. Has to contribute  and communicate all the notable information so that this strength diminish in favour of the another to modify the false beliefs, thoughts and previous practices. Communication.

Has to create  some surroundings of psychological security that do partícipes active to the employees in front of the change organizacional.


After the elimination of the previous beliefs initiates  the phase properly of the change in which the employees will have to face and work with the new systems implanted. This is used to to produce some fear to the failure to the desconocer his practice and in a lot of cases by fault of previous experiences in the new skills that have to purchase. This uncertainty or fear to the stranger can be paralizante in the first moments. Usually, the changes produce  to level of technology, structure or culture organizacional that it can produce levels of stress that have to be controlled.

To the people no can them  impose a change of system of beliefs, but they have to assimilate them of active form by himself alone, with the support of the organisation. When the employee darse that the new system is beneficial will implement a new belief that will delete the previous.

The leaders have to take a step forward and be the first example for his employees and give them to the maximum possible support until the adaptation was complete.


Finally, when the new systems are implemented have to happen to form part of the new culture of the company so that guarantee his success on a long-term basis. The changes turn into routine. To be able to consolidate these changes, recongelarlos, the leaders of the organisations can use systems of rewards to the employees by the achievement of the changes posed of efficient form. Besides, the directors of the companies can make communications on the profits that the change has produced on the organisation so that the employees seat  partícipes of said improvement.

The employees will put to proof the new beliefs, systems and culture of the company and in base to these new essays or will reinforce  the change or will have to initiate  a new process of change organisation, a new phase thawing.



Lewin, K. (1951). The theory of field in the social science.


Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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