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Driving and Restraining Forces for Change | AQA Q3.2, Paper 2 2018


Last updated 19 Mar 2023

This is a worked answer to the 9-mark question in Paper 2 (2018) asking students to apply Lewin's Force-Field analysis to the case study on Global Airways (GA).

A driving force is income elasticity of demand (YED). Appendix G indicates demand for GA’s flights is sensitive in changes in passenger incomes. An YED of +1.5 suggests that a fall in passenger incomes of 2% in the next three years would result in a 3% fall in quantity demanded. This might result in an even larger fall in sales revenue as GA managers are considering cutting ticket prices. This will drive the need to reduce the operating costs of GA since many of GA’s costs are fixed, such as pilot salaries and aircraft leases. Managers will therefore be under pressure to implement change that reduces costs in order to remain competitive and sustain profits.

A restraining force is increasing unionisation. Appendix G indicates that union membership has increased this year. More than half (65%) of cabin crew are now unionised, perhaps because of recent proposed changes to pay levels. Cabin crew may, therefore, feel they have greater bargaining power in their negotiations with GA managers over pay levels and may be more likely to act together and take strike action to resist the proposed changes if they cannot negotiate a satisfactory pay deal for staff. This increased resistance from unionised crew will make it harder for GA managers to implement the proposed changes as they stand.

Note: the "range" required by this question was explicit: students were required to analyse one driving force and one restraining force.

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