SMCR Model of Communication- David Berlo’s SMCR Model of Communication

SMCR Model of Communication- Berlo’s SMCR Model of Communication Example Situation. Berlo’s Model of Communication.

SMCR Model of Communication

SMCR communication model refers to the Source-Message-Channel-Receiver model of communication developed by David Berlo in 1960. In 1960, David Berlo designed the SMCR communication model with four elements: Sender, Message, Channel, and Receiver. SMCR refers to the Source-Message-Channel-Receiver, which are essential elements of any communication process. Therefore, the SMCR model of communication is known as Berlo’s Source-Message-Channel-Receiver model. Berlo invented this model based on the Shannon-Weaver communication model (1949). He described some factors that make the communication process more effective. SMRC represents the Source, Message, Channel, and Receiver that are also part of 9 essential communication elements of the primary communication process.

There are three types of communication models: the linear, interactive, and transactional communication models. SMCR communication model refers to the one-way communication system. So, the SMCR model is a linear model of communication where feedback is absent.

Models of Communication

Berlo’s Model of Communication Example

Watching television news is a real-life example of David Barlo’s SMCR model of communication. It is also known as Berlo’s model of communication example situation. The four essential elements of Barlo’s model are the source, message, channel, and Receiver. Firstly, the news presenter is the source of the news who disseminates the information. The news is the message, and television is the channel. Finally, the audiences are the receivers of the message who watch the television.  In this context, the audience cannot provide feedback. It is also a one-way communication process where the feedback is not presented. Similarly, reading newspapers is another example of Barlo’s model of communication. Print and broadcast journalism mostly relates to one-way communication.

However, digital journalism, including social media-based citizen journalism and blogging, generates two-way communication, also known as the transactional communication model. The audience can comment to express their opinion.

For example, you watch television, read books, newspapers, and magazines, and hear an announcement.

smcr model of communication, berlo's SMCR model of communication. berlo's model of communication example situation. David Berlo's Model of Communication Example. berlo's model. example of berlo's model of communication. david berlo model. david berlo's communication model.
Figure 1: David Berlo’s SMCR Model of Communication

Elements of Berlo’s Model of Communication

The Four Elements of Berlo’s Model of Communication are:
  1. Source
  2. Message
  3. Channel
  4. Receiver

1. Source

The source means the message’s sender who initiates the communication process by sending information to the Receiver. David Berlo describes five factors related to the source: Communication Skills, Attitude, Knowledge, Social Systems, and Culture.

Communication skills

Communication skills refer to the ability to speak, read, write, and listen effectively. It also indicates the ability to use verbal and nonverbal communication cues during the interaction. Communication will be more effective if the senders and receivers both have excellent communication skills. The most common nonverbal communication examples are eye contact, facial expression, body language, gesture, posture, and so more.  The communication skill of the source or sender increases the effectiveness of the communication process.


Attitude is the psychological factor of the sender and Receiver that affects the meaning of the message. It is also an established perception of a person in which they think or feel about something. Thus, the meaning of the message depends on the source’s attitude and the Receiver.


Knowledge indicates the level of actual information, familiarity, and experience on the discussion topic. Actually, the discussion topic is the message of the communication process. Therefore, the communicator feels comfortable discussing if the topic is familiar to them. However, knowledge does not imply the educational qualification or degrees of the sender or receiver.

For example, a football player will show more interest in talking about football rather than cricket. On the other hand, a cricket player will surely feel comfortable discussing a cricket game. Here, knowledge indicates familiarity with the subject of the discussion topic or message.

Social Systems

Social systems refer to the values, beliefs, behaviors, rules and regulations, locations, and religions. These factors influence the method of the communication process as well as the meaning of the message.

For example, the speaker is delivering an anti-America message in the American parliament election campaign. It is considerably sure that the audience will not receive and listen to his message attentively. It is an example of a location factor that is also part of the social system.


Culture refers to the social background of the Sender and Receiver. The meaning of the same message might be identical when people from different cultures interpret it. It is a significant factor from the perspective of nonverbal communication cues.

For example, exchanging “Salam” greetings among men and women is widespread in the Muslim community. Salam conveys the greeting message in the Muslim community; however, handshaking is another activity that also exchanges the same mean. On the other hand, handshaking is a standard greeting among men and women in Western culture.

2. Message

The message is the primary substance conveyed by the source or sender of the communication to the Receiver. David Berlo proposed another five factors related to the message: Content, Elements, Treatment, Structure, and Code.


Content refers to the entire body of the message from beginning to end. It is the actual information of the discussion. Content is the whole script of the conversation.

For example, the lecturer is teaching students on noise in communication. So, the full speech about communication noise is the content of the message.


Elements refer to nonverbal communication cues such as facial expression, eye contact, gesture, posture, and body movement. It makes the conversation more effective and productive. So, the communication might get boring without elements.

For example, the lecturer raises five fingers when mentioning the five basic noises in the communication process.


Treatment refers to the communication way in which the message is conveyed to the audience. The communication way affects the communication system. It represents the message packaging. The examples of treatment in communication are delivering messages formally and casually.

For example, the teachers speak formally when delivering speeches in the classroom. However, the lecturer talks very casually when meeting students outside class.


The structure of the message describes the arrangement of the information. The effectiveness of the message depends on the message structure.

For example, the lecturer talks about the definition, types, and examples of communication noise. The students perceive the message clearly for its good arrangement.


Code in the message refers to the form of message transmitting. The examples of the code are text, audio, video, visual, and so more.

For example, the teacher is speaking in front of the students; hence, the code of the message is audio.

3. Channel

Channel refers to the medium that carries the message from sender to Receiver. There are many types of channels in communication, such as radio, newspapers, TV, phone call, and social media. Berlo highlighted the five senses as the communication channel, such as hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting. These five channels are a crucial part of the human communication process.

For example, the face to face class is more effective than an online class. The students can see the lecturer physically and hear the lecture clearly. Nowadays, many institutes conduct virtual classes through premium or free online meeting platforms. The channels denote the physical and virtual communication way to convey messages.

David Berlo mentions only five human senses as the communication channel such as Hearing, Seeing, Touching, Smelling, and Tasting.


People receive messages through listening. It is the most significant channel in the communication process. For example, students hear lectures in the classroom.


People accept messages through seeing. It is one of the crucial channels in nonverbal communication. People take less than one second to judge others through seeing their physical appearance. The audiences form a conception about the speaker based on the body movement, facial expression, eye contact, and gesture. A proverb says that people can lie but eyes never lie. It means people believe what they see more than what they hear.

For example, a lecturer asks students about their final exam. The student reply that it was an excellent exam; however, the student looks very worried while interacting with the lecturer. So, the lecturer does not believe the statement due to seeing the worried face. Watching television is another example of seeing channels in communication.


Touch refers to a significant nonverbal communication channel that conveys messages through touching. It is also known as Haptics in Nonverbal Communication. The most common example of touching channels in communication holding hands, hugging, tickling, also kissing. These touching styles represent different messages.


Smelling is another channel of the intrapersonal communication process.  The intrapersonal communication process means communicating with yourself. It is also known as olfactics nonverbal communication. People judge others based on the Fragrance they have used. A good smell creates a positive attitude toward the person. The perspiration odors form a negative perception of the person.

For example, people smell flowers, and fragrances to identify the flavor whether it is good or bad.


Tasting refers to nonverbal communication channels through tasting something. For example, people test food to identify its deliciousness.

4. Receiver

Finally, R-Receiver is the person who receives the message or information in the communication process. David Berlo adds the same factors of the sources to the Receiver, such as Communication skills, Attitudes, Knowledge, Social Systems, and Culture, to the Receiver. Communication gets more effective when senders and receivers have similar skills, attitudes, and knowledge. Communication among people from the same culture and social system reduces communication noise during the interaction.


David Berlo’s SMCR Model of Communication is the linear model of communication; therefore, the feedback is not present in the model. It is one of the significant communication models that describe the communication process through multiple elements, including Sender, Message, Channel, and Receiver.

Lewin’s Change Management Model- Unfreeze Change Refreeze Examples

Lewin’s Change Management Model PDF: Unfreeze Change Refreeze Example. Three Stages of Change Management are Unfreeze, Change & Refreeze.

Lewin’s Change Management Model

Lewin’s change management model refers to the three stages of management change theory. The three stages of Lewin’s change management model are unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. Therefore, the alternative name of the Lewin change management model is the three stages of change management and unfreeze change refreeze theory. Lewin’s change model is one of the familiar models of communication.

Who and When Established Lewin’s Change Management Model?

Kurt Lewin established the three stages of the organizational change model in 1947.

In 1947, Kurt Lewin introduced the 3 stages of the change management model known as Kurt Lewin’s change model. After that, researchers and scientists established many models to describe organizational changes, such as Kotter’s Change Management Model, Kübler-Ross Five Stage Change Management, ADKAR Change Management Model, McKinsey 7-S Change, Management Model, also Lewin’s Change Model or Theory. However, Lewin’s change management model has become the most popular for its simplicity and fewer phases, for example, unfreeze, change, and refreeze.

Nowadays, researchers have developed multiple theories based on Lewin’s change management model. So, it is the foundation of all modern change management theories. For example, John Kotter’s 8-stage management change model was developed based on Lewin’s change management model. Now, the management system is complex compared to before when the model was introduced. Therefore, the practice of Lewin’s change management model is controversial in modern organizations. It has excellent theoretical significance in the research arena rather than practical importance.

Lewin’s Change Model Real-Life Example

Many reputed companies apply Lewin’s change management model to survive in the current situation. For example, Netflix has used a change model to adjust to the digital era. The Netflix organizational change process handled the force of organizational change to achieve a competitive advantage. Now, they are one of the most successful companies globally. Netflix is a real-life example of Lewin’s change management model. It is known as Lewin’s Change Model Business Example.

Lewin’s Change Management Model Stages

Three Stages of Change Management are:
  1. Unfreeze stage
  2. Change stage
  3. Refreeze stage
Lewin's Change Management Model- Three Stages of Change Management
Lewin’s Change Management Model – Three Stages of Change Management

Unfreeze Change Refreeze

1. Unfreezing Stage of Change

Unfreezing is the initial stage of Lewin’s change management model or Lewin’s change management model. In this stage, employees take mental preparation to accept the change of the organization. In the management system, the unfreeze stage refers to breaking down the existing circumstances to accept the organizational changes. Usually, employees feel comfortable in the organization’s current condition; therefore, some do not accept the management change quickly due to uncertainty. The unfreezing stage consists of the process of educating people about opportunities for organizational change. The organization should practice the change management communication strategy to prepare employees for the change.

The key point of this stage is to compel employees to accept management change through effective change communication. It is essential to maintain effective interaction within the management to persuade employees to accept change. Employees will receive the change if they can understand the new things cannot protect the company or organization from surviving.  Additionally, they need to realize that change is essential to sustain the organization and achieve competitive advantages.

A high level of positive motivation among employees helps to understand the reasons for organizational change and development. Next, the organization needs to persuade the stakeholders that the change will bring benefits to everyone. Some people will receive it quickly, but some of them will deny it at the initial time. Finally, everyone will come up with the motivation to make the change.

Communication During the Unfreeze Stage

The primary communication objective is to prepare stakeholders, employees, and the organization to accept the change – “Readying” the organization. However, resistance will increase simultaneously with how huge the change is and how much it affects the organization. Effective communication can overcome resistance. To ‘ready’ the organization for accepting the change, it is essential to declare the objective of the change. Additionally, you have to ensure that everyone in the organization knows what will happen and why. Effective communication is significant to point out the difference between actual and desired outcomes. This first message or declaration should come from the top-level management of the organization to avoid communication conflict.

2. Change (Move) Stage

Change is the second stage of Lewin’s change management model. It is the middle stage of the three phases of change management. Actual changes occur when everyone in the organization decides to accept the change with positive motivation. Employees receive and adjust to the new working atmosphere. Changes can be major or minor based on the organization’s needs. The organization needs to provide sufficient training and support for the employees to embrace the changes. It is the stage of implementing the entire process of changes; therefore, many issues need to be done consciously. Some employees may spread misleading information due to having insufficient knowledge about organizational change. So, the organization needs to practice an effective communication process within the organization to avoid unwanted issues. However, at the end of the day, employees will be focused on practicing the new work.

Communication During the Change Stage

The organization should ensure effective communication among employees to reduce uncertainty as well as communication noise. People may indulge in spreading disinformation and lies that have less information about the process of change. Therefore, the communication has to have a more specific character than in the previous phase. Communication in this stage is essential to provide authentic, accurate, and detailed information on what will happen to those who have less sketchy details on implementing changes. Finally, it distributes the new responsibility among assigned people in the organization.

3. Refreezing Stage of Change

Refreezing stage of change is the third and final stage of the Kurt Lewin change management model. In this stage, employees adjust to the change of management day by day. Refreezing is a slow process of adopting the new culture and atmosphere of the corporate workplace. Employees and stakeholders may take a long time to adjust to the new systems. The pace of the practice among employees determines the time of the refreezing stage. So, refreezing is the most crucial stage in the Lewin change management model. The new attitude and behavior of employees become solidified as the norm of the organization. Finally, everyone starts to feel comfortable as in the previous stage before unfreezing.

Communication During the Refreeze Stage

The communication process should answer employees’ queries regarding rewards, control, efficiency, and relationship roles. In this stage, the information flow should be concrete, continuous, and multidirectional so that employees have a sufficient understanding of the personal associations of the change. Unavoidable misunderstandings may occur in this phase, so; communication should focus on making the change successful.

Lewin’s Change Management Model Example

For example, An ice block cannot get converted into a new shape without melting it. So it would be best if you created a hot environment to melt the ice block. The temperature must be more than 32°F (0°C) temperature to melt the ice. So, here, increasing the temperature denotes the unfreezing stage.

According to Lewin’s theory, unfreezing refers to preparation for accepting the new norms of the workplace. It is the initial stage to get ready to accept the change. The management needs to motivate employees to accept change.

It will take time to transform the entire ice block into the water.  Keep the glass in an isolated place and ensure the temperature is suitable for melting ice. When the ice block completely transforms into water, pour it into a new pot to give it a unique shape. Here, pouring the water into a glass is changing steps or moving stage. Melting the ice denotes the change stage of Lewin’s theory.

According to Lewin’s theory, changing refers to accepting the new norms and moving on to change. Thus, the employee starts to change and accept the new norms of the working place.

Finally, keeping the glass in a cold place to transform the water into ice again. It is the way of freezing the water transform again into a new solid shape. It is called the process of refreezing and the final stage of Lewin’s change management model.

Refreezing refers to adjusting to the new norms of the workplace. The employee has already accepted the change, and they adapt to the new environment.

The model summarized that successful management change is accomplished through a three-stage process; unfreezing, changing, and refreezing.

Lewin’s Change Management Model Example

For example, the educational institute has shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, all organizations, including educational institutes, decided to conduct virtual or online classes to ensure the continuation of education for students. These educational institutes are applying online video meeting platforms, for example, Zoom, Google Meet, to conduct virtual classes and organizational meetings. It was a new experience for lecturers; therefore, they were afraid of uncertainty and interested in taking online courses. But, the university authority compels them to accept the change. The university authority maintains effective communication through social media platforms to motivate employees to get change. They thought that organizational change would help achieve competitive advantages as the other educational institutes adopt the changes. So, finally, they accept the change and adjust to the new working environment. It is a perfect example of Lewin’s Change Theory.

Lewin’s Change Model Advantages and Disadvantages

Lewin’s change management model strengths and weaknesses

Lewin Change Management Model Advantages

Firstly, Kurt Lewin’s model is straightforward to understand; therefore, any organization can implement it easily. The management need not hire experts to execute the model. The existing employees will be able to apply it and evaluate the outcome. Additionally, it has only three stages, such as unfreeze, change, and refreeze. For example, the McKinsey 7-S model has seven elements that are challenging to implement.

Lewin Change Management Model Disadvantages

Firstly, the refreezing stage takes a long time to settle down with new norms. Additionally, many employees quit their job due to uncertainty regarding the new norms and environment.

Kurt Lewin 1951 References
Lewin, K. (1951). Forces of change: Field theory in social science.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)

Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2022). Lewin’s Change Model- Lewin’s Change Management Model of 3 Stage. Educational Website For Online Learning.