Force Field Analysis
Adapted from Lindsay Serwin, 12Manage.com, Accel-team.com’s articles.
Kurt Lewin "An issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces - those seeking to promote change (driving forces) and those attempting to maintain the status quo (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.
thus shifting the equilibrium. In order for any change to occur. the driving forces must exceed the restraining forces.Equilibrium
Equilibrium is reached when the sum of the driving forces equals the sum of the restraining forces.
they developed the following force field analysis. In a one hour session.
The management team in a large government department decided to launch a quality and customer service initiative. They were focusing on what they needed to do to ensure that it was received positively by all in the organization.
Force Field Analysis of this Customer Service initiative
Original Decision: Launch and Train staff. . After Force Field Analysis: More emphasis on middle management training and resources.Example is taken from Lindsay Serwin’s Article
marking each out of ten.Analysis Procedure
Step 1 .
. Then try to assess their relative strength.Agree and define the current situation and the desired situation Step 2 .Focus on the forces and brainstorm to identify them.
they tend to initiate a change and keep it going. and competition may be examples of driving forces.
Driving Forces . pressure from a supervisor. In terms of improving productivity in a work group. incentive earnings.Forces that are pushing in a particular direction.
Forces acting to restrain or decrease the driving forces. and poor maintenance of equipment may be examples of restraining forces against increased production. Apathy.Restraining Forces
Restraining Forces .
If you do the latter. then the opposing forces seem to strengthen to match.
In most cases it is more effective to focus on trying to reduce the opposing forces rather than trying to strengthen the supporting forces sufficiently to overcome the opposing ones.
Focus on the things that you feel that you can and should change and devise a strategy and plan of action (communications. pressure.) to achieve that.
. involvement. Keep in mind that increasing the driving forces or decreasing the restraining forces may increase or decrease other forces or even create new ones. training workshops. etc.
being autocratic and keeping continual pressure on subordinates) and thus achieving increases in output in the short run. The former manager had upset the equilibrium by increasing the driving forces (that is.
Consider the dilemma of the new manager who takes over a work group in which productivity is high but whose predecessor drained the human resources.
such as increased hostility and antagonism. At the time of the former manager's departure the restraining forces were beginning to increase and the results manifested themselves in turnover. new restraining forces developed.However. absenteeism. and other restraining forces. This lowered productivity shortly after the new manager arrived.
equal and opposite reaction in a force field. Restraining forces can increase equally too!
We should always increase driving forces
.Watch out ! Any action can have an.
The manager may do this by taking time away from the usual production operation and engaging in problem solving and training and development. Now just assume that our new manager decides not to increase the driving forces but to reduce the restraining forces.
.Now a new equilibrium at a significantly lower productivity is faced by the new manager.
they may become new driving forces in the long run. thus moving the balance to a higher level of output. if commitment to objectives and technical know-how of the group are increased. And also eliminate hostility and apathy that were restraining forces. output will tend to be lowered still further.In the short run.com’s article
. – Example from Accel-team . However.
But Lewin is perhaps best-known for developing Force Field Analysis.Kurt Lewin
Kurt Lewin was an American social psychologist and having contributed to science group dynamics and action research. he is regarded one of the founders of modern psychology. using Force Field Diagrams.