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Management Theory of John Kotter

Jeanne Dininni

Kotter's management theory equips leaders to lead and helps stagnating companies progress

The management theory of John Kotter has won widespread acceptance in the years since he first presented his leadership model clarifying the dynamics of effective corporate leadership.

More recently, Kotter has further developed his companion theory, the Kotter theory of change management, which works hand in hand with his earlier leadership principles to create a culture of success within a company. Kotter himself has stated, "The fundamental purpose of management is to keep the current system functioning. The fundamental purpose of leadership is to produce useful change." When properly used, Kotter's theory can help a business owner or manager overcome resistance to change within the company, and thereby facilitate organizational transformation.

Kotter's change management theory identifies a number of characteristics that stand in the way of healthy organizational change. Until management takes the appropriate steps to eliminate these obstacles, effective change cannot occur. As you learn more about the role of the John Kotter theory in transformational change, you'll be better equipped to eliminate the following obstacles from your own organization.

Unhealthy characteristics

1. Complacency, driven by arrogance;

2. Self-protective immobilization, driven by fear;

3. Defiance, driven by anger; and

4. Hesitancy, driven by pessimism.


Acquire some background information on Kotter change management theory

Internet resources abound which expound Kotter change management theory. These online tools and information sources can give you a thorough background on the essence of Kotter's theory.
Harvard Business School Working Knowledge website also provides an excerpt from Kotter's and Cohen's book, The Heart of Change: Real Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. The excerpt introduces Kotter's eight-step change management model, using anecdotes which clearly illustrate the concept. ESI International also presents a helpful explanation of Kotter management theory.

Investigate John Kotter change management resources which can help you implement his advice

Various types of resources based on Kotter's theory of change can help you implement change in your own company.

Let the Kotter change theory lead you to other widely available tools for implementing change

A number of available tools can make it easier for you to implement the management theory of John Kotter, as well as various other change management methods.

  • Be sure to take advantage of as many online tools and resources as possible to develop a clear understanding of the value that change management theory can have for your company. John Kotter is an engaging speaker who offers many valuable insights during his talks, so don't miss his free online video clip mentioned in Action Step 1. It will give you a preview of all that John Kotter change management theory can do for your company.
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Jeanne Dininni