Vol. 1 No. 15 (2019): Journal of Leadership and Management

Comparative Study of Kotter’s and Hiatt’s (ADKAR) Change Models

Vasudev Das
Vasudev Das School of Management, College of Management and Technology, Walden University, 100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401, USA email: vasudev.das26@gmail.com
Published February 1, 2019
How to Cite
Das, V. (2019). Comparative Study of Kotter’s and Hiatt’s (ADKAR) Change Models. Journal of Leadership and Management, 1(15). Retrieved from http://leadership.net.pl/JLM/article/view/147


The purpose of the study is to sonographically explore Kotter’s leading change model and Hiatt’s (ADKAR) change management model, as well as analytically compare the two models and their roles in positive social change. The author also diagnostically explored the limitations of Kotter’s and Hiatt’s (ADKAR’s) change models. Kotter and Hiatt have developed change models geared towards unlocking the potentials of individuals, groups, and organizations in a bid to achieving strategic and sustainable outcomes at a quicker pace than managers and leaders could possibly imagine. Both Kotter’s and Hiatt’s (ADKAR) change models have their strengths and limitations. The study is skewed toward analysis of documents whose authors are imbued with imperfect sensory modalities. Therefore, the study is not generalizable. Both Kotter’s and Hiatt’s (ADKAR) change models have pragmatically been shown to be effective in change implementation and any organization that utilizes either of the models to manage a change initiative makes a right scientific choice for organizational renewal. The study is the first of its kind in the change management domain and hence its valuableness cannot be underestimated inasmuch as it fills the lacuna in the orga- nizational change management literature.

Keywords: Kotter’s change model, ADKAR, organizational change management, change leadership, change failures, successful change


  1. Abdollahzadeh, M. (2013). “Empowerment and Organizational Change.” International Research Journal of Applied and Basic Scienc- es, 4, pp. 1–5.
  2. Almas, K., and M. H. Shah. (2014). “An Application of ADKAR Change Model for the Change Management Competencies of Schools in Pakistan.” Journal of Managerial Sciences, 8(1), pp. 77–95.
  3. Appelbaum, S. H., S. Habashy, J. Malo, and H. Shafiq. (2012). “Back to the Future: Revisiting Kotter’s 1996 Change Model.” Journal of Management Development, 31(8), pp. 764–782.
  4. Battilana, J., and T. Casciaro. (2013). “Overcoming Resistance to Or- ganizational Change: Strong Ties and Affective Cooptation.” Man- agement Science, 59(4), pp. 819–836.
  5. Boca, G. D. (2013). ADKAR Model Versus Quality Management Change: Risk in Contemporary Economy. Galati: Faculty of Econom- ics and Business Administration, University of Galati, pp. 246–253.
  6. Carter, M. Z., A. A. Armenakis, H. S. Feild, and K. W. Mosshold- er. (2013). “Transformational Leadership, Relationship Quality, and Employee Performance During Continuous Incremental Organiza- tional Change.” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(7), pp. 942– 958.
  7. De Matos, J. A., and S. R. Clegg. (2013). “Sustainability and Organiza- tional Change.” Journal of Change Management, 14(4), pp. 382–386.
  8. Dighe, A., Z. Shah, and H. Raulgaonkar. (2015). “Decision Modelling Technique: Pharmacoeconomic Approach.” International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Business Management, 3(10), pp. 1–9.
  9. Grama, B. S. (2013). “Cynicism in Organizational Change.” SEA– Practical Application of Science, 2, pp. 107–111.
  10. Hiatt, J. M. (2006). ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Gov- ernment and Our Community. Loveland: Prosci Learning Center Publications.
  11. Hughes, M. (2011). “Do 70 Per Cent of All Organizational Change Initiatives Really Fail?” Journal of Change Management, 11(4), pp. 451–464.
  12. Kihlgren, M., and G. Hansebo. (2014). Organizational Change and Supervision, in: Watkins C. E. Jr., D. L. Milne (eds.). (2014). The Wi- ley International Handbook of Clinical Supervision. Hoboken: Wi- ley-Blackwell, pp. 155–176.
  13. Kin, T. M., and O. A. Kareem. (2015). “Organizational Change and Leadership.” Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 23(1), pp. 135–141.
  14. Klein, L. (2013). “Implementing an Advanced Computerized Pro- vider Order Entry System to Neonatal Intensive Care Using Kotter’s Change Management Model.” Canadian Journal of Nursing Informat- ics, 8(1-2), pp. 1–11.
  15. Kotter (2016). The 8-Step Process. Retrieved from: http://www.kot- terinternational.com/the-8-step-process-for-leading-change/.
  16. Kotter, J. (2012b). “Accelerate!” Harvard Business Review, 90(11), pp. 45–58.
  17. Kotter, J. P. (2007). “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail.” Harvard Business Review, 85(1), pp. 96-103.
  18. Kotter, J. P. (2012a). Leading Change: With a New Preface by the Au- thor. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.
  19. Kotter, J. P. (2014). Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Fast- er-Moving World. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.
  20. Kotter, J. P., and S. C. Dan. (2012). The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.
  21. Pollack, J., and R. Pollack. (2015). “Using Kotter’s Eight Stage Process to Manage an Organizational Change Program: Presentation and Practice.” Systemic Practice and Action Research, 28(1), pp. 51–66.
  22. Prosci. (1998). The Perfect Change. Loveland: Learning Center Pub- lications.
  23. Sandberg, J., and H. Tsoukas. (2015). “Making Sense of the Sense-Making Perspective: Its Constituents, Limitations, and Op- portunities for Further Development.” Journal of Organizational Be- havior, 36(S1), pp. S6–S32.
  24. Sarayreh, B. H., H. Khudair, and E. A. Barakat. (2013). “Compara- tive Study: The Kurt Lewin of Change Management.” International Journal of Computer and Information Technology, 2(4), pp. 626–629.
  25. Stragalas, N. (2010). “Improving Change Implantation: Practical Applications of Kotter’s Model.” Organizational Development Prac- titioner, 42(1), pp. 31–39.
  26. Warrilow, S. (2016). ADKAR Change Model: An Evaluation of Its Strength and Weaknesses. Retrieved from: http://www.strate- gies-for-managing-change.com/adkar.html.
  27. Worley, C. G., and S. A. Mohrman. (2014). “Is Change Management Obsolete?” Organizational Dynamics, 43(3), pp. 214–224.
  28. Zafar, F. and K. Naveed. (2014). “Organizational Change and Dealing with Employees’ Resistance.” International Journal of Management Excellence, 2(3), pp. 237–246.