Force Field Analysis

Force field analysis helps you make decisions by looking at the forces for and against change. You can use this information to decide what actions will help you achieve your goals.

History

Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) developed a theory of social systems called "Field Theory," which he used to analyze social behaviour. Lewin's theory has been applied to many areas, including education, business, politics and psychology.

Force Field Analysis

The Force Field Analysis looks at two types of forces that drive change and those that resist it. In any situation, there are always some forces pushing us towards change and other forces trying to hold things as they are.

How Does It Work?

The first step in using force field analysis is identifying the forces for and against each goal. Here's an example:

You want to get more customers for your business.

What are the forces for this?

 1. You have an excellent store location.

2. Your products are well designed.

3. Your prices are competitive.

4. There are too few stores in your area.

What are the forces against getting more customers?

1. Your competitors have a better products range than yours.

2. You don't advertise enough.

3. Your staff doesn't seem motivated in selling.

To move forward with your plans, you need to strengthen the forces that push you towards change and weaken the forces that resist change.

For example, if you want to increase sales, you'll need to do one or more of the following:

– Increase advertising

– Improve product design

– Lower prices

– Promote your business through word of mouth

Ask These Questions

Here are some questions to ask yourself when applying force field analysis:

• What are the forces that are working in my favour?

• Which ones are working against me?

• How strong are they?

• Are there ways I can strengthen the driving forces?

• Can I reduce the strength of the opposing forces?

• Is there anything else I need to consider?

Once you understand the forces in play, you can start making changes to improve your chances of success.

Criticisms of Force Field Analysis

While force field analysis is a valuable tool, it does have its critics. Some people think that it does not apply to all situations. Others say that it is too simplistic. Still, others believe it focuses on only one aspect of a problem.

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