Refreezing for Culture Change

The final step in any given change process is refreezing, by which Lewin meant that the new learning will not stabilize until it is reinforced by actual results. The Alpha employees discovered that not only could they deal with environmental hazards but that it was satisfying and worthwhile to do so, hence they internalized the attitude that a clean and safe environment was in everyone’s interest even if it meant slowing jobs down when a haz­ard was encountered. If the change leaders have correctly diagnosed what behavior is needed to fix the problems that launched the change program, then the new behavior will produce better results and be confirmed.

If it turns out that the new behavior does not produce better results, this information will be perceived as disconfirming information and will launch a new change process. Human systems are, therefore, potentially in perpetual flux, and the more dynamic the environment becomes, the more that may require an almost perpetual change and learning process.

Source: Schein Edgar H. (2010), Organizational Culture and Leadership, Jossey-Bass; 4th edition

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