Force Field Analysis

This is a simple model created by Kurt Lewin which helps us to identify factors driving or opposing a proposed change.  You can apply this model to any scenario for example in the work environment, exams and personal life

  • When driving forces are equal to opposing forces -> equilibrium
  • When driving forces are greater than opposing force -> proposed change goes ahead
  • When opposing forces are greater than driving forces -> proposed change is resisted

If you are leading the change, you can use this model to understand the opposing forces and find ways to overcome these.

.Below is an example of how we can apply this model to an exam question


The management team of Company X are considering implementing self-checkout in their store as part of the revamp project in modernise their stores. Market research shows that the benefits of self-service technology include efficiency and speed of checkout, self-checkout take up less space and fewer employees to pay. Some of the drawbacks are the risk of theft, customers facing error messages when using the self-checkouts and the lack of personal interaction.

The results of the previous period were disappointing and the budget for capital expenditure was therefore reduced. In addition, some of the managers are concerned that the workforce will be reduced and the impact of this on day to day operations.

Driving forces

  • Need to modernise the stores – can improve the image of the company
  • Efficiency and speed – reduces queuing time
  • Space will be freed up – this can be use to stock more products
  • Buy-in from the management team

Opposing forces

  • Reduced budget for capital expenditure – this technology is costly
  • Store managers’ concerns – impact on staffing levels and disruption to the day-to-day operations
  • Risk of theft – additional security will be required which is an additional cost to the business

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