4 Jul 2022


Leading Organizational Change

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Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Coursework

Words: 1087

Pages: 4

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Change Identification 

The phrase organizational change is used to imply the shift from a current way of doing things to a new state. In the healthcare field, medication errors are causing devastating impacts for not only the patient but also the nurses too (Zerwekh & Garneau, 2014). Hospitals can significantly reduce these errors by adopting new technologies that saves time and improves patient care or otherwise lowers risk the possibility of failures. Bar-coding medication is one of the latest technologies based on the concept of the scanning device to compare codes on the patient’s prescribed medication and codes on the patient’s identification bands (Zerwekh & Garneau, 2014). The technology helps hospitals to verify a patient’s medication electronically against his/her medical records hence minimizing any associated errors. Therefore, in this essay, I will apply Kurt Lewin’s change model to introduce bar-coded medication at one of the largest and most popular medical facility in the United States. This theory will help us understand the process of change, identify forces of resistance and hence overcome the resistance that eventually leads to a successful change implementation. I will identify the steps of organizational change I would take and prioritize the order in which I would implement them with Mayo Clinic as my case study. 

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization mainly consisting of research centers and hospitals. It is well known for its innovative and latest technologies used in treatment as well as research on various medical conditions and diseases. It assigns 40% of its resources to research projects hence it has been ranked among the top 20 healthcare facilities worldwide for their research and innovative treatment. 

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The Change Model 

Organizational psychologists have for years studied and developed numerous steps to guide in the implementation of organizational change. In the 1950s, Kurt Lewin introduced one of the hallmark theories for initiating organizational change using Lewin’s theory of organizational change (Suc Prokosch & Ganslandt, 2009). This model is used even in the present day society. Lewin’s theory has gained massive popularity as far as organizational change is concerned because of its simplicity and ease of understanding. He explains that organizational change must follow three basic steps called the unfreezing, change and re-freezing. 

By following Lewin’s three steps to change, organizations can plan and implement the change they need successfully. In the unfreezing stage, an organization begins by creating a need and motivation to change. This is based on the assumption that the existing attitudes must be transformed by preparing the ground. It involves breaking down the current ways of doing things and coming up with new ways of operating. Here, it is vital to communicate about the proposed change for people to understand and give buy-in. The next step is the process of changing whereby people are taught the new ways of operating. As the theory indicates, the actual change occurs in this step. All the people start to believe that they will benefit from the change initiative, too. However, at this step, the leaders should clearly explain the intended purpose of the change and the required steps to achieve the change. 

Importantly, the management should realize that individuals should understand their contribution towards the change. Refreezing is the final step of Lewin’s change model. During this step, the change has already been introduced and now the organization is focused on ensuring stability for solidification of the change. This step is where the management ensures that everyone is comfortable with the new way of doing things and eventually accepts it as the norm. 

Application to the Company 

Unfreezing Stage 

This is the first step of Lewin’s theory of change implementation. It relates to the identification of the focus, which is the implementation of bar-code medication system at Mayo Clinic. The basic element of this step includes maintaining proper communication with all the involved parties key among them frontline staff members, administrators, and managers. Therefore, the organization must ensure honest and open communication lines are in place to generate a feeling of trust and security in every individual affected by the change (Suc Prokosch & Ganslandt, 2009). By encouraging employee inclusion and participation, the organization can promote employee empowerment, which may help overcome any form of resistance. In turn, it allows employees to realize the relevance of the change as well as how they may benefit from it. The company holds regular meetings and discussions during this step to identify any potential barriers and drive out any forces of resistance (Suc Prokosch & Ganslandt, 2009). At Mayo Clinic, some of the barriers may include usage of workarounds, employee lack of trust in the facility, employee resistance to computerized medication administration and evading from learning how to use a new system. Zerwekh and Garneau (2014) define driving forces as those factors, which help move the change to its successful completion. In this case, they may include management support and sufficient financial resources. Here, the most vital point is that this project actively involves every employee as it diminishes any potential restraining forces and accentuates the positive forces such that the bar-coded medication system is successfully adopted. 

Moving/Change Stage 

In this step, the actual change is introduced and the implementation occurs (Suc Prokosch & Ganslandt, 2009). For Mayo Clinic to implement bar-coding technology throughout the organization, it must obtain sustained efforts from the various employee teams. Such include nursing department, administrators, nurse educators, pharmacy department and information technology department. Such a change will possibly touch on each of these teams in varying ways implying that the roll out must be properly planned based on the participation of all staff members. It is advisable to involve the front line employees actively like nurses as it helps to develop a feeling of the project’s success. Mayo Clinic should consider areas such as the employee training needs, leadership styles, organizational culture and the implementation period (Zerwekh & Garneau, 2014). In addition, this change needs a project leader whose task is to monitor and oversee the initiative through all the stages. However, some of the challenges associated with this theory include identifying how to address workarounds through additional employee training and education. 

Refreezing Stage 

This is the final step of Lewin’s change model. At this point, the change has already occurred and now the management is concerned with ensuring stability (Suc Prokosch & Ganslandt, 2009). It requires the continuous organization-wide support of all staff members until the change seems to be complete and everyone is comfortable with the new norm. Given that the new technology is operational and complete, the management conducts any problems encountered and the successes achieved throughout the project. Later, they record this information for reference in future. 


Such an organizational change requires a proper plan to realize ultimate success. In this essay, I have demonstrated how Lewin’s change model can be applied to guide implementing bar-coded medication technology at Mayo Clinic by promoting employee buy-in and encouraging them to participate in all respects of planning and implementing the change. By this, the organization was able to build ownership and autonomy of the change that eventually led to success. In most cases, leaders force their employees to change their way of operating without giving them the opportunity to provide input. Over time, this erodes employees’ trust of the employer. However, through the application of Lewin’s model, Mayo Clinic successfully reduced employee resistance through emphasizing on active involvement throughout the entire change process. 


Suc, J., Prokosch, H. U., & Ganslandt, T. (2009). Applicability of Lewin s change management model in a hospital setting.  Methods of Information in Medicine, 48,  5, 419-28. 

Zerwekh, J. A. G., & Garneau, A. Z. (2014).  Nursing today: Transition and trends . St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier/Saunders. 

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