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The “death valley” of change

P. David Elrod II (Sverdrup Technology Inc., Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, USA,)
Donald D. Tippett (The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 June 2002



This paper provides an overview of the current body of knowledge surrounding the human response to change and transition. Models of the change process, as perceived by diverse and seemingly unrelated disciplines, are identified, compared, and contrasted by tracing the evolution of these models from seminal works through contemporary research. Surprisingly, a majority of the models studied were found to share two important characteristics: they follow Lewin’s 1952 three‐phase model of change; and they describe a degradation of capabilities in the intermediate stages of the change process. In a practical example, the authors explain their experimental verification of the change models’ applicability to an organizational change involving the introduction of teams. The interrelationship of developmental and change models is discussed. Finally, the importance to leaders and managers of developing an understanding of the current state‐of‐the‐art in human response to change and transition is discussed.



Elrod, P.D. and Tippett, D.D. (2002), "The “death valley” of change", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 273-291.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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