A Critical Analysis of Lewin’s Organization Theory and Behavior

1. Introduction

In this essay, “Lewin’s Organization Theory and Behavior” will be critically analyzed. Kurt Lewin was a German-born psychologist who is considered the father of social psychology (Dyer, 2012). He came to the United States in 1933 to escape the Nazis and took a position at Cornell University. Lewin is best known for his work on group dynamics and organizational change (Dyer, 2012). In this essay, his organizational theory will be discussed as well as how it applies to leadership and group behavior. In addition, other theorists’ models of organization will be examined and compared to Lewin’s theory.

2. Lewin’s Organization Theory

Lewin’s organizational theory is based on three essential elements: structure, process, and outcome (Dyer, 2012). The structure of an organization refers to the way it is organized, including the number of levels in the hierarchy, the way tasks are divided up, and the way resources are allocated. The process of an organization encompasses the activities that take place within it, such as communication, decision-making, and goal-setting. The outcome of an organization is what it produces, such as products or services.

According to Lewin’s theory, organizations should be structured in a way that promotes motivation and participation (Dyer, 2012). For example, he believed that workers should have a say in how their work is done and that they should be given adequate resources to do their jobs effectively. In addition, he believed that leadership should be well administered so that workers can participate.

3. Leadership

Leadership is an important element of Lewin’s organizational theory. He believed that leaders play a key role in motivating workers and promoting participation (Dyer, 2012). For example, leaders can encourage workers to share their ideas and give them the opportunity to participate in decision-making. In addition, leaders can provide resources that workers need to do their jobs effectively.

4. Group Behavior

Group behavior is another important element of Lewin’s organizational theory. He believed that groups are more effective when they are cohesive and when members have a clear understanding of their roles (Dyer, 2012). For example, groups should have clear goals and objectives and members should know how their individual efforts contribute to the group’s success. In addition, groups should be able to quickly adapt to changes in their environment.

5. Fester’s Participation Model

Fester’s participation model is similar to Lewin’s in that it also emphasizes the importance of motivation and participation (Fester & Wilcoxen, 1993). However, there are some key differences between the two theories. First, Fester’s model does not specify how organizations should be structured. Instead, it focuses on how leaders can motivate workers through different types of participative management techniques. For example, leaders can use techniques such as problem solving or brainstorming to involve workers in decision-making. Second, Fester’s model does not emphasize the role of groups in organizationally effective behavior. Instead, it focuses on individual workers and how they can be motivated to participate in organizational life.

6. Davenport’s Model of Organization

Davenport’s model of organization is similar to Lewin’s in that it also emphasizes the importance of motivation and participation (Davenport, 1995). However, there are some key differences between the two theories. First, Davenport’s model does not specify how organizations should be structured. Instead, it focuses on how leaders can motivate workers through different types of participative management techniques. For example, leaders can use techniques such as job enrichment or job rotation to involve workers in decision-making. Second, Davenport’s model does not emphasize the role of groups in organizationally effective behavior. Instead, it focuses on individual workers and how they can be motivated to participate in organizational life.

7. Oliver’s Model of Group Dynamics

Oliver’s model of group dynamics is similar to Lewin’s in that it also emphasizes the importance of motivation and participation (Oliver, 1992). However, there are some key differences between the two theories. First, Oliver’s model does not specify how organizations should be structured. Instead, it focuses on how leaders can motivate workers through different types of participative management techniques. For example, leaders can use techniques such as trust-building or role-playing to involve workers in decision-making. Second, Oliver’s model does not emphasize the role of groups in organizationally effective behavior. Instead, it focuses on individual workers and how they can be motivated to participate in organizational life.

8. Jerrold’s Theory of Organizational Development

Jerrold’s theory of organizational development is similar to Lewin’s in that it also emphasizes the importance of motivation and participation (Jerrold, 1989). However, there are some key differences between the two theories. First, Jerrold’s theory does not specify how organizations should be structured. Instead, it focuses on how leaders can motivate workers through different types of participative management techniques. For example, leaders can use techniques such as task force or work teams to involve workers in decision-making. Second, Jerrold’s theory does not emphasize the role of groups in organizationally effective behavior. Instead, it focuses on individual workers and how they can be motivated to participate in organizational life.

9. Conclusion

In conclusion, Lewin’s organizational theory is a comprehensive framework that emphasizes the importance of motivation and participation in organizational effectiveness. While there are some key differences between Lewin’s theory and other theorists’ models of organization, all of these theories share a common focus on the importance of motivating workers to participate in organizational life.

FAQ

Lewin's Organization Theory is a theory that helps explain how people interact with and within organizations.

This theory helps explain organizational behavior by providing a framework for understanding how people behave in organizations.

Some criticisms of this theory include that it is too simplistic and does not take into account the complexities of human behavior. Additionally, some scholars argue that the theory does not adequately explain change or conflict within organizations.