Force Field Analysis
(Lewin)

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Analyzing change factors: the driving forces and the restraining forces. Explanation of Force Field Analysis and Diagram. Kurt Lewin.

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Force Field Analysis

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Kurt Lewin

Kurt Lewin was an American social psychologist. He has contributed to science group dynamics and action research, and he is regarded one of the founders of modern psychology. But Lewin is perhaps best-known for developing Force Field Analysis and Force Field Diagrams.


Force Field Analysis Diagram LewinLewin's view on organizations

According to Kurt Lewin, an issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces. Those seeking to promote change: the driving forces. And those attempting to maintain the status quo: the restraining forces. Lewin viewed organizations as systems in which the present situation was not a static pattern. But a dynamic balance ("Equilibrium") of forces working in opposite directions. In order for any change to occur, the driving forces must exceed the restraining forces, thus shifting the equilibrium. Compare: Catastrophe Theory.


The Force Field Diagram

The Force Field Diagram is a model built on this idea that forces are both driving and restraining change. These forces include: persons, habits, customs, and attitudes. A Force Field Diagram can be used at any level: personal, project, organizational, network, to visualize the forces that may work in favor and against change initiatives. The diagram helps its user to picture the "war" between forces around a given issue. Usually, a planned change issue is described at the top. Below this, there are two columns. The driving forces are listed in the left column, and the restraining forces in the right-hand column. Arrows are drawn towards the middle. Longer arrows indicate stronger forces. The idea is to understand, and to make explicit, all the forces acting on a given issue.


Use of the Force Field Analysis method

  • Investigate the balance of power involved in an issue.
  • Identify the most important players (stakeholders) and target groups for a campaign on the issue.
  • Identify opponents and allies.
  • Identify how you can influence each target group

Steps in a Force Field Analysis? Process

  1. Describe the current situation.
  2. Describe the desired situation.
  3. Identify where the current situation will go if no action is taken.
  4. List all the forces driving change toward the desired situation.
  5. List all the forces resisting change toward the desired situation.
  6. Discuss and interrogate all of the forces: are they valid? Can they be changed? Which are the critical ones?
  7. Allocate a score to each of the forces using a numerical scale e.g. 1 is extremely weak and 10 is extremely strong.
  8. Chart the forces. List the driving forces on the left. And list the restraining forces on the right.
  9. Determine whether change is viable and progress can occur.
  10. Discuss how the change can be affected by decreasing the strength of the restraining forces or by increasing the strength of driving forces.
  11. Remember that increasing the driving forces or decreasing the restraining forces may increase or decrease other forces or even create new ones.



Force Field Analysis Forum (16 topics) Help
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  Three Strategic Frameworks (Mulcaster)
Mulcaster (2008) developed 3 strategic frameworks that can be useful both in decision making and in strategy. All three frameworks will be briefly explained below:
1. OPPOSING FORCES APPROACH: This is an approach in which the advantages and disa...
     
  The Human Factor in Force Field Analysis
The FFA is a great tool in analysing change. In a practical sense, the human factor is the most controversial force in either driving change or restraining change.
We are talking about apathy, ignorance, power, self interests, and antagonism amo...
     
  Using Force Field Analysis for Gender Analysis
Force field analysis is an appropriate tool for gender analysis to identify the deprived class womens short comings, and to show direction how to reduce restraining forces and increase driving forces for more effective gender relationships....
     
  Force Field Analysis Helps to Consider Barriers Before Embarking Change
Change is hard. Force field analysis helps to summarize the barriers. Thus, all phases must be understood before embarking organisational change. The aspects of the future state need to be considered before moving towards the transition. The need ...
     
  Dynamism is the Interface to Change Issues
Change is must for all entities. It is part of every movement, nothing stays standing on the same start point. It is a law of life. So, dynamism is the interface sticked to all change issues. If we see the organization as a complex whole, any changes...
     
  Identifying Change Drivers
This is my first communication on this amazing site.
Could anyone suggest a suitable framework/theory to identify the drivers of change that actually caused that change? I have applied a force field analysis, which has rendered a good result. I ...
     
  Where does Power Come From?
What is the origin of power forces?...
     
  Unfreeze, Changing and Refreeze
I just wonder besides of "Force Field Analysis" , Kurt Lewin Change Model should also involved with "unfreeze, change, refreeze" part. Could anyone talk about this point?...
     
  Be a Change Catalyst
If one has to make a choice that sees the benefits of the greatest majority, then try to be a catalyst in any organization and that I believe can spell the difference after all!...
     
  Force Field Diagram Assumptions
I think that the model of Lewin is reducing the dimensions of changes to conflict and opposition between two classes. According to this conception the changes in organsations are fatal and and operate by force and not by peaceful way. This is why ...
     
  Implementation of Change in an Organisation
This is a powerful tool of directing the change management process but it is not good enough for implementing the change and integrate it in the management system of an organisation. Other tools such as the balanced scorecard are required to reinforc...
     
  Origin of Force Field Analysis
I seem to remember from my early days in OD that Lewin based his model on engineering principles of force analysis taught in Statics and Dynamics of Forces in Mechanical Design. For example, in designing a bridge and determining how to support it yo...
     
  MSCS Concept in Force Field Analysis
In the force field analysis I use the MSCS (Magnitude, Symptoms, Causes and Solutions) concept for both the driving forces and the restraining forces. This is effective to make the process very simple....
     
  Decreasing Restraining Forces is easier
I have used Force Field Analysis in the past in the Health, Safety and Environment field. Sometimes I find less effort is required to remove Restraining Forces than to reinforce the Driving Forces in order to get the ball rolling in the right directi...
     
  Quotes by Kurt Lewin
If you want to truly understand something, try to change it....
     
  Post-Merger Force Fields
In Post-Merger relationships restraining forces will include creation of 5th columnists within the organisation, and instigation of negative press by parties who don't want to expose the horrors of their balance sheet that was not identified during d...
     
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Expert Tips - Force Field Analysis Premium
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Concerns Against Change and their Remedies

According to Ken Blanchard in the article “Mastering the Art of Change” (Training Journal, January 2010), it is important for leaders to address the f...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change
 
 

Leadership Strategies for Change

In response to the high rate of change failure, Ken Blanchard and his team have developed the Blanchard Leading Through Change program, in whic...
Usage (application): Initiate, implement, develop and sustain change
 
 

The Next Steps when FFA is Done...

After the analysis is done and the existing forces have been identified and rated, action can be planned and undertaken to change the current status i...
Usage (application): Actions to Take after a Force Field Analysis, FFA Implementation
 
 

The Force of Employees in Change Inititiaves

The concept of bases of social power is very important for organizations in the context ...
Usage (application): Why Acknowledging the Power of Employees is Important
 
 

Implementing Force Field Analysis in the Strategy Process

In his article "Force Field Analysis: A New Way to Evaluate Your Strategy", J. Thomas established seven guidelines useful when implementing a force fi...
Usage (application): Practical Guidelines, Best Practices
 
 

Industry’s Driving Forces

Many events can affect an industry powerfully enough to qualify as driving forces. Some are unique and specific to a particular industry, but most ...
Usage (application): Organizational Change
 
 

Describing and Analyzing Driving Forces

When analyzing potential trends or driving forces, for them to be relevant they must have at least one effect on the terrain of your focal issue. This...
Usage (application): FFA Implementation
 
 

Assessing the Risks of Change and the Organization’s Capacity for Change

In their book "Transforming Public and Nonprofit Organization – Stewardship for Leading Change", James Edwin Kee and Kathryn E. Newcomer argue that th...
Usage (application): Leading Change
 
 

Unfreezing, Moving, Freezing

In the early 20th century, psychologist Kurt Lewin identified three phases/stages of change that are still the basis of many change management approac...
Usage (application): Change Management
 
 

Strategic Change: Why, What, When, Who and How

If we need to change strategically, we need to think about why, what, when, who and how:
- Why do we want to change? - the constraints imp...
Usage (application): Preparing Strategic Change
 
 

Typical Driving Forces

Typical driving forces include: felt need for change, regulation change, decreasing results, organizational crisis, bonusses, employee development opp...
Usage (application): Examples
 
 

Typical Restraining Forces

Typical restraining forces include: inertia, apathy, technology, IT, rigidity, fear for the new, budgets, hostility, distrust, conflicting objectives....
Usage (application): Examples
 

Resources - Force Field Analysis Premium
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Force Field Analysis

Good explanation about FFA by Vivek Birla. The author describes the concept and the main view of the inventor Lewin. After this, a more detailed expla...
Usage (application): Force Field Analysis

Framing in the Context of Conflicts

Framing and conflicts
This presentation elaborates on the extent to which framing relates to conflicts (and its resolution). The presentation inc...
Usage (application): Framing, Negotiation, Collective Bargaining, Stakeholder Analysis, Force Field Analysis, Conflict Management

Dealing with Strong Resisters

Dr. John Kotter gives remarkable advice on dealing with "No, No, People" (strong resisters in change initiatives).
According to Kotter in a major...
Usage (application): Dealing with Resistance to Change, Change Management, Training, Workshop

Getting Started with Force Field Analysis

To make a decision you can make a list of the PROs and the CONs. But since the issues aren't equally important, it will be hard to make a balanced dec...
Usage (application): Force Field Analysis, Change Management, Problem Solving

Applying Creative Thinking to Complex Business Problem Solving

This presentation focuses on creative thinking as a useful tool for dealing with complex business issues. It includes the following sections:
1. ...
Usage (application): Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Complex Problem Solving Techniques

Managing Organizational Change

This is a presentation about the ways to manage change. The presentation includes the following sections:
1. Introduction
2. Change accordin...
Usage (application): Change Management, Leading Change, Organizational Development

22 Best Practices in Change Management

Presentation starts with short introduction of managing organizational change and then outlines 22 best practices in change management.
1. Proces...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change

Force Field Analysis Diagram

Download and edit the 12manage PowerPoint model for limited personal, educational and business use. Republishing in intranets, websites, books, magaz...
Usage (application): Force Field Analysis
 

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Compare with Force Field Analysis: Change Management Iceberg  |  Catastrophe Theory  |  Stakeholder Analysis  |  Stakeholder Mapping  |  RACI  |  Change Model Beckhard  |  Bases of Social Power  |  DICE Framework  |  Crisis Management  |  Changing Organization Cultures  |  Culture Types  |  Core Group Theory  |  Planned Behavior  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Kaizen  |  Dimensions of Change  |  Root Cause Analysis  |  Brainstorming  |  Six Thinking Hats  |  Scenario Planning  |  Game Theory  |  Analogical Strategic Reasoning  |  Real Options  |  Kepner-Tregoe Matrix  |  OODA Loop  | Levels of Culture  |  Appreciative Inquiry  |  Positive Deviance


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