Unfreezing old learning requires people
who want to learn new ways to think and act.
Moving to new learning requires
training, demonstration, and empowerment.
Refreezing the learned behaviour occurs
through applying reinforcement and feedback.
Force field analysis
(Lewin, 1951) is diagnostic technique that has been
applied to ways of looking at the variables involved
in determining whether organisational change will
occur. It is based on the concept of ‘forces’, a term
which refers to the perceptions of people in the
organisation about a particular factor and its
are those forces affecting a situation and which are
attempting to push it in a particular direction. These
forces tend to initiate change or keep it going.
Restraining forces are forces acting to
restrain or decrease the driving forces.
A state of
reached when the sum of the driving forces equals the
sum of the restraining forces
Lewin formulated three
fundamental assertions about force field change:
Increasing the driving forces results in an increase
in the resisting forces; the current equilibrium
does not change but is maintained under increased
Reducing resisting forces is preferable because it
allows movement towards the desired state, without
Group norms are an important force in resisting and
shaping organisational change
Use Once change
priorities have been agreed, a force field analysis
can be used to identify actions that would enhance
their successful implementation.
work is widely cited throughout change management
literature. Empirical research supports Lewin’s
assertions that working to reduce the resisting forces
is more effective than efforts to increase the driving
ones (Zand, 1995).
the force field model to be of use, the forces need to
be identified perceptively, rigorously and
objectively, and the means identified of addressing
the resisting forces need to be creative.
Many practising managers will
be able to reflect on occasions in their own
experience when they have aimed to increase the
driving forces, rather than reduce the resisting ones,
and have increased the resistance and the tension
as a result.