Coping with uncertainty during change: a relational approach inspired by Kurt Lewin

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Change is a constant; it is emergent, relational and it happens through interaction.
Kurt Lewin (1890–1947) was not only one of the rst social scientists
to understand this, but he was also one of the rst to actually practice it. A
partial return to Lewin’s original conceptions of action research, eld theory,
and participative change could provide practitioners and scholars today
with a valuable theory-based approach, not only to cope with uncertainty
but also to see uncertainty as a source of change. Coping with uncertainty
as a source for change is, in essence, what Lewin meant by the process of
‘unfreezing’, which is about cleansing, opening, and re ning the doors of
perception which, over the years, when combined with later social constructionists’
insights, have been developed by practitioners and theorists to create
a ‘relational’ approach to organisation development (OD).
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1270-1280
Number of pages11
JournalChallenging Organisations and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2018


  • Organization Development
  • Kurt Lewin
  • Uncertainty
  • Organizational change


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