Leadership and Management in Professional Context

Reflecting on the group work done this semester, how would you change how the group was managed and led? Link the discussion to theories of change discussed during the semester.

In my group work conducted by my group this semester, we used two management styles, including democratic and leissez-faire management styles. However, due to undesirable results, we opt to change from one style to another to achieve the best results for our presentation. This discussion will be based on how my group transitioned from a single management style to another. I will use Kurt Lewin’s change management model to describe the transition process on the management styles. Additionally, I will expound on the essential successful principles of change and link them to my group presentation. This discussion will begin with how my group was led and managed.

My group leader assigned each group member with a specific task to be completed within a particular duration of time. This seemed to be the best approach from the initial overview due to individual contribution towards the group work. However, due to the assigned responsibilities, some members began to struggle with the tasks approaching to be more undesirable and ineffective. This slowed down work progress in my group, providing the need to transition from the current approach to another. From our mutual discussion, team members decided we have a combined discussion of the presentation before each individual embarks on working on their specific tasks, which I found to be a great idea.

I will demonstrate how my group used Kurt Lewin’s change management theory to enhance the transition process from one management style to another. This is because it has been credited to be among the frequently utilized theory of change (Burnes, 2020, 41). This theory states that for change to occur in a group, the driving forces must outweigh the resisting forces for change (Hussain et al., 2018, 125). Initially, there was opposition to the transition from some team members since they perceived that research would be conducted again. However, due to ineffective results, they agreed to change. The following discussion will describe how Kurt Lewin’s change management theory can change how the group was managed.

To change how the group was managed, I will use the three-stage implementation of change proposed by Lewin. According to Cummings, Bridgman, and Brown (2016, char 1), these stages include the unfreezing stage, change, and freezing stage. This section will Kolb learning stages demonstrate the use of each of the three stages and how I can use them to enhance change.

  • Stage 1: Concrete experience (CE) and Reflective observation (RO). This is the unfreezing stage where the leader realizes the need for change and motivates team members to change. (McKnight, 2013, 103). This stages majorly deals with what the leaders feels should be done to solve a particular problem and watching the progress for the need for change. When my group members struggled with the tasks and not meeting deadlines, the group was at the unfreezing stage. In this case, as a leader, I will identify and exploit the struggles of the members and use it as the driving force for change. This will call for implementation of an adaptable change that will be able to solve the existing problem, find value and meaning of the change through an analysis.
  • Stage 2: Abstract Conceptualization (AC). This is the change stage where the leaders need to thinks critically about the need for change. In this stage with the help of abstract conceptualization, I will gather information, plan and implement the desired change. This will help in conducting an observation on individuals who are interest in the change and those not willing. A new management style should be introduced to enhance change (Va der Voet, 2014, 378). In the case of my group, the introduction of a democratic management style to alleviate the leissez-faire style was the best option. Moreover, as a group leader, I would set reporting structures for our progress which can be conducted through sending emails of each member’s progress twice a week and setting weekly meetings to discuss the progress.
  • Stage 3: Active experimentation (AE). This is the freezing stage which majorly deals with the doing where the change is implemented, becomes part of the team’s behavior and culture. This is where group members become familiar with the implemented change and adhere to the changes. This calls for practical utilization of the implemented change.

Kolb’s four learning stages

Successful change in an organization is based on effective diagnosis and benchmarking of incentive systems and information. This process helps the leaders understand the group’s current situation and plan appropriate interventions to address the situation at hand. The leaders will communicate to the team after identifying the need for change to attain desired results for change (Husain, 2013, 43). Successful implementation of change depends on the effective communication of the leader with the team members.

Therefore, changing the management style in my group is a fundamental approach since it will enable the team to meet deadlines and have a good presentation. Adopting a democratic management style was a great approach since all members could quickly grasp what the assignment was all about and work on their tasks. Kurt Lewin’s change management theory is an effective model. It provides a constructive approach to introducing change in a group through the three stages: unfreezing, change, and freezing stages.    

Bibliography

Burnes, B., 2020. The origins of Lewin’s three-step model of change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science56(1), pp.32-59.

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

Husain, Z., 2013. Effective communication brings successful organizational change—the Business & Management Review3(2), p.43.

Hussain, S.T., Lei, S., Akram, T., Haider, M.J., Hussain, S.H. and Ali, M., 2018. Kurt Lewin’s change model: A critical review of the role of leadership and employee involvement in organizational change. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge3(3), pp.123-127.

McKnight, L.L., 2013. Transformational leadership in the context of punctuated change. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics10(2), pp.103-112.

Van der Voet, J., 2014. The effectiveness and specificity of change management in a public organization: Transformational leadership and a bureaucratic organizational structure. European Management Journal32(3), pp.373-382.