Saturday, June 1, 2013


Revolutionary change can by itself be considered as one form of planned change because it takes place at the instance of either a leader in the form of dictator of elder statesman or group of people or sometimes due to the mass uprising of the entire society. The change is deliberately attempted and achieved.
In sociology and particularly in the context of community organization or community development for improvement of conditions of life, the types of social change that are planned for and implemented are generally known as planned change. Planned change is defined as a deliberate predetermined change for which necessary planning is done for its implementation. Since it implies a planning for a change, it follows that there will be a scientific methodological approach to achieve results and definite goals and objectives will be set and also the resources available will be matched to meet the objectives.
For all intents and purposes planned change can be considered to be the same as pro-gramme planning or community organization because they also imply or include the same philosophy and purpose and methodology.
In any community social change takes place by itself in a continuous manner. Sometime it is desired by the community itself or by some one outside the community who has a special mission to work in the community to bring out certain desired changes somewhat rapidly to make the life of the community better in quality and quantity. Communities are often best with problems and they are either able to solve them by themselves or require the guidance and assistance of an outside expert or resource person. In either case the problem solving involves a planning. The change that is effected by a process of planning is known as planned change.
Planned change requires initiation of ideas and pooling of resources from within the community or procurement of resources from outside. Needless to say the change is the result of the need for a change. A need has to be perceived and the problems have to be appreciated and felt in all its severity and dimensional. In other words, the community has to feel a certain degree of dissatisfaction or disturbance in order to feel the need for altering a particular situation.
As we already studied under motivation unless the individual feels a sence of discomfort or inadequacy he is not likely to divert his attention towards the solution of the problem. The problem has to bother him, otherwise the problem does not apper to him as a problem at all. And the individual is either indifferent to it or complacent.
Kurt Lewin has described the different forces that act on the mind of the person as a result of which there is a possibility of motivation or a state of inactivity and indifference. Kurt Lewin extends the same theory to the group or community also. For a planned change to occur in a community Kurt Lewin has described three stages of mental preparation for manifestation of behaviour. The first stage is known as unfreezing. In this stage the community feels uncomfortable about a situation which is definitely not to the advantage. In order words, a problem is identifies as a problem and it bothers the people. The next stage is moving. Just like in the Rosenstock principle of motivation the community becomes aware of a means of solution of the problems. It gathers information about how the problems can be solved and also takes into account the resources available. This is actually the planning stage in which all the members of the society are involved in a collective thinking and an agreement for action. The second stage of planning is immediately followed by an action programme or implementation to reach the desired goal or solution or status. Henceforth the III stage takes place which is known as refreezing. The society which was put to some kind of change of behaviour to reach a higher level of performance or quality of live gets established in the new changed order and sustains that behaviour. Tgus us tge oricess if refreezing according to Kurt Lewin.

We have only considered the stages in the planned change. We have also to bear in mind that in any community or society Planned change can take place as a result of innovation. There should be one person or group of persons in the community or society planned change can take place as a result of innovation. There should be one person or group of persons in the community to suggest, practice and demonstrate or in other words, set an example to others. Alternatively there has to be an outside agent who has to work for the community and introduce new useful ideas and innovations for diffusion and adoption. In extension education and community organization usually the extension worker plays the role of change agent. The planned change that the change agent introduces into the society is through a process of extension education. He has to identify the clients and sell his ideas to them and motivate them. In the beginning he carefully selects responsive, potential clients and uses them as diffusion agents or satisfied adaptors. He has also to employ all the technique of extension approach required in community organization like, individual approach, family approach, group approach, kinship approach, mass approach, leadership approach.

Fundamentally the planned change has to be a community affair or a total responsibility of the community itself. The change agent has to play only a catalytic role. He is not supposed to effect the change by his own efforts. He is not supposed to thrust his ideas or dogmatise. The planning has to be done by the people by themselves and the change agent should function as a resource person and initiate the motivation. The same principles essentially required for community organization or extension education have a direct application and are necessary in the process of planned change. Otherwise, there is a danger of the change not being permanent or sustained. The agent has therefore, to motivate the people in such a way that they reach the 3 stage of refreezing and he is able to withdraw from the scene and allow them to enjoy the benefit of the change and appreciate it. However, it does require a few occasional visits on the part of the change agent to follow and see that the community is fully cognizant f the change that has been effected, the purpose and the outcome. It may sometimes be necessary for the change agent to re motivate people if adoption gets changed into discontinuance or rejection.

It is common to develop a system of change agent and client. The change agent may be within the community or outside. Planned change can be considered to be a successful planned change only if the changed behaviour of the community or the acceptance of change in the community is sustained and enduring, without any fear of reversal or discontinuance. It, therefore, implies that the change agent has to direct his educational effort in such a way, that the clients as a whole adopt the change by a proper process of internalization and rationalization.

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