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Lewin's Force Field Analysis

looks at the forces that are either driving movement towards a goal or change or blocking movement towards a goal or change


driving force

forces affecting a situation that are pushing in a particular direction and are supporting the goal or personal change


restraining force

personal and organisational resistance to change that acts against the driving forces and could include management, employees, cost, legislation and competitors


steps of Lewins' model

1. define the target of change 2. identify the driving forces and the restraining forces 3. analyse the forces that can be changed 4. develop an action plan based on what can be changed


harnessing forces for change

the ability of a business to successfully implement changes can be influenced by the comparative strength of driving and restraining forces


key points Lewin

1. when driving forces are more dominant the change will be successful 2. if the driving forces are met by the restraining forces at a similar level it is likely the change won't be successful 3. if the restraining forces are more powerful than driving forces it is unlikely the change will be successful


driving forces





pursuit of profit

reduction in costs




societal attitudes



- act as an important driving force - either have influence on the business and provide direction for change or be involved in a hands on approach to ensure the change is implemented successfully



- critical as they may support the change and make it easy to successfully implement it - a few key staff members may be able to influence others - employees may come up with new ideas and innovation one of the biggest reasons for success or failure of change



- some industry sectors in the economy are highly competitive and business' need to be able to respond to changes quickly - competitors can come from anywhere in the world making management more complex - if a business is able to keep up with their competitors and comes up with the right changes before businesses are likely to keep ahead of its rivals



- businesses have to deal with three levels of government in Australia, federal, state and local - legislation controls what a business can or can't do within the business


pursuit of profit

- profit drives many businesses to change / profit needs to be sustained over time

- may preserve profit by cutting expenses and costs


reduction in costs

- quick way to increase profitability



can be defined as the process of increasing increasing business between countries gives increased access to markets around the world

- providing opportunity for customs to improve their standard of living through increased access to goods and service

- provides potential for future business growth or companies develop more trading relationships with other countries



- tech impacts on all areas of a business and is a major driver for change

- businesses now have potential to be online only



- generally refers to changing or creating more effective processes, products and ideas and can increase the likelihood of a business succeeding


societal attitudes

- society constantly occurs and views change all the time

- demographic makeup of the population impacts on society

- new policies based on this may affect communication, language etc.


restraining forces

  • managers
  • employees
  • time
  • organisational inertia
  • legislation
  • financial considerations



- crucial and may stop a change from being introduced

- managers may not support policies which makes them feel as though their role or position is threatened

- the levels of management may also add complexity



- employees who feel left out or unheard are less likely to support change

- fear of change can prevent moving forward for a business



- lack of time can impact a business adversely and not leave them enough time to get change completed

- this can also be an issue if a business drags behind its competitors


organisational inertia

- lack of a business' ability to react to internal and external pressures for change, as it tends to continue on its well entrenched way

- made up of: resource rigidity nature rigidity


resource rigidity

unwilling to invest resources or time


nature rigidity

inability to change patterns



- a business may find it hard to adapt or change for new laws

- other laws may affect the operation of the business


financial considerations

- lack of access to finance can inhibit a business (especially smaller businesses)

- inability to obtain necessary funds can restrain a business


generic strategies

- in 1979 Michael Porter developed a framework to outline the three main strategy options open to a business that wishes to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage


generic strategies need to be considered in terms of

  • competitive advantage (differentiation or low cost)
  • competitive scope (to determine if the business should target a wide or niche market)


steps to determine suitability

  • SWOT analysis
  • five force analysis


SWOT analysis

strengths weaknesses opportunities threats

- carry out this analysis at regular intervals to guage a business' current position


five force analysis

a tool that focuses on give important determinants of competitive power

- supplier power

- buyer power

- competitive rivalry

- threat of substitution

- threat of new entry


supplier power

a business should assess how easy it is for suppliers to drive prices up. These more help a business needs from suppliers the more power a supplier has


buyer power

how easy it is for buyers to drive down prices, if there are a few powerful buyers the power lies with them

- driven by the number of buyers, importance of each buyer and the cost of sourcing fro each business compared to each other


competitive rivalry

the number and capability of competitors

- the business may have limited power as suppliers and customers can get elsewhere

- a unique product gives the business a great deal of power


threat of substitution

this is affected by the ability of customers to find a product or service similar to one provided the business

- if substitution is easy power is reduced


threat of new entry

affected by new businesses entering the same market and competing

- this is also affected by product and ideas and their protection


when the two analysis are compared...

the business needs to consider the following

- reducing or manage supplier power

- reduce or manage buyer/customer power

- come out on top of the competitive rivalry

- reduce or eliminate the threat of substitution

- reduce or eliminate the threat of entry


cost leadership

a strategy that allows a business to achieve a competitive edge by reducing production or delivery costs // there are two ways to do a cost leadership strategy:

- reducing costs to increase profits

- increase market share charging lower prices and still making a profit


ways to achieve cost leadership

1. asset utilisation

2. low direct and indirect operating costs

3. control over all departments or groups of the business


asset utilisation

- means being able to use a business' resources efficiently

- this may mean producing in high volumes of outputs / serving a high number of customers at once


lower direct and indirect operating costs

- this may mean producing in high volumes of standardised products, limiting customisation and personalisation of service

- costs are kept low by using fewer parts, using standardised components and limiting the number of models produced to make sure there are large production runs


control over all departments or groups of the business

- this approach includes checking and reviewing all areas of the business

- finance, operations, supply chain management, marketing and information technology

- just in time may also be used to save costs


viability - cost leadership

- viable for large businesses are they are able to get bulk order discounts / create large production volumes



emphasises the difference between a particular product / service and those that are similar by developing the attributes that customers find appealing

- based on a number of different factors inc. durability, after sales support and brand loyalty

- if a business successfully differentiates they can charge a premium price


to implement differentiation a business must

- develop effective marketing and promotion strategies

- deliver high quality products

- there is a focus on ongoing research, development and innovation


viability - differentiation

- appropriate where the target segment isn't price sensitive

- can build strong brand loyalty


impact of strategies

- a strategy needs to be chosen (can't be both or the business will be stuck in the middle and they won't succeed)

- if a large business successfully uses one of the strategies it will have more power and influence than a small business


forces for change

- change occurs because of pressured placed on the business to make adjustments to its departments or divisions, operations and activities, jobs and tasks, policies, management styles and corporate culture - can be widespread or micro level


number of workplace accidents

number of unplanned events interrupting the workflow they may or may not include injury or product damage


number of customer complaints

the number of written or verbal expressions of dissatisfaction from customers about an organisations products or services


level of wastage

in a production process it will give an indication of business' efficiency


reducing workplace accidents has the following advantages

- reduction in the number of disruptions to work and production - reduction in time lost due to accidents and consequent disruption - reduction in lost production - reduction in management time required to manage the effect of accidents and disruptions - enhancement of the business reputation - improvement in staff morale and loyalty


ways to reduce staff turnover

- choosing good managers who have well-developed interpersonal and communication skills - providing employees with clear expectations, including, vision, goals, expected behaviours, standards, priorities and agreed actions - encouraging employees to use their skills - providing support for employees when needed - encouraging employees to get involved in decision-making - providing opportunities for employees to provide feedback - encouraging employees to upgrade their skills


level of staff turnover

- the number of people or employees leaving the business - there is a cost to the business when staff leave as they take experience and knowledge with them


ways to reduce staff absences

- track staff absences

- make sure the employee has wellness programs

- help employees to return to work

- eliminate workplace stress

- offer flexible working hours and holidays


rates of staff absenteeism

a percentage indicating the number of workdays lost due to unscheduled staff absence from work especially without a good reason

- rates of productivity may reduce

- businesses need to monitor rates and address them if they are an issue


number of sales

the total quantity of sales of a particular product or service

- taking note of trends can help a business plan, budget and change their products and services as required


rate of productivity growth

measures the business' ability to transform inputs into outputs; the ability of a business to increase outputs for a given level of inputs gives an indication of growth


net profit figures

the amount left over after all expenses have been paid (referred to as the bottom line)


percentage of market share

the proportion of sales (units or measure) of a product that a company achieves in relation to the sales of the same product that other companies achieved


main KPIs

  • percentage of market share
  • net profit figures
  • rate of productivity growth
  • number of sales
  • rates of staff absenteeism
  • level of staff turnover
  • level of wastage
  • number of customer complaints
  • number of workplace accidents



the best use of resources in the production of goods/services

- being able to accomplish a task with minimum expenditure of time and effort



how well the business achieves its stated objectives; 'doing the right things'

- the ability of a business strategy to achieve an intended or expected outcome


KPIs need to be

  • relevant
  • valid
  • reliable
  • deliver valuable information


key performance indicators

measures or a set of data that allows a business to determine whether it is meeting its business objectives