After spending the last 6 years in research for my master's and doctoral degrees, I've found that Change Management has very little theory (believe it or not).  Organizational Behavior (OB) and (to some extent) Organizational Psychology (OP) are the two domains that contribute to Change Management theory.  On this page, I'll overview the recent trends first, then historic.

OB = Business school label

OP = All other schools label
OD = No real home in academia

Recent Theory

Trend #1:  Readiness
Nerina Jimmieson from the University of Queensland in Australia has led the way here attempting to tied Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior with Readiness for organizational change.   

Trend #2:  Individual perspective
Achilles Armenakis from Auburn has created a theoretical model viewing an individual's reaction to organizational change as the step in between initiation of the change (stimulus) and the consequences (response).

Trend #3: Framework
Several recent texts use the Van de Ven & Poole taxonomy for categorizing organizational change theory into 1 of 4 categories:

Historical Theory
We're all more familiar with these theories.  However, just because they are recognizable does not mean they are correct.  NONE of these are theories, per se.  However, in the absence of theory, they've served as the "base" thinking for  Change Management (OB).

#1 Lewin 3-step 

#2 Kubler-Ross 

#3 Katzenbach

#4 Nadler-Tushman 

Note:  While this may not be an exhaustive list, it does cover most of the theories of change in OB and OP.


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