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Change Management - Force Field Analysis

Author: Jim Riley  Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012

Many factors drive change in a business.  Lewin identified four forces:

In Lewin’s model there are forces driving change and forces restraining it. Where there is equilibrium between the two sets of forces there will be no change. In order for change to occur the driving force must exceed the restraining force

Lewin - Force Field Analysis

Lewin’s analysis can be used to:

  • Investigate the balance of power involved in an issue
  • Identify the key stakeholders on the issue
  • Identify opponents and allies
  • Identify how to influence the target groups

Forces for change include:

Internal forces for change

External forces for change

A general sense that the business could “do better”
Desire to increase profitability
Reorganisation to increase efficiency
Natural ageing and decline in a business (e.g. machinery, products)
Conflict between departments
The need for greater flexibility in organisational structures
Concerns about ineffective communication, de-motivation or poor business relationships

Increased demands for higher quality and levels of customer service
Uncertain economic conditions
Greater competition
Higher cost of inputs
Legislation & taxes
Political interests
Ethics & social values
Technological  change
Scarcity of natural resources
Changing nature and composition of the workforce

You can see from the lists above that the main pressure for change in a business is usually external.  A business has to be prepared to face the demands of a changing external environment.

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