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KURT LEWIN’S CHANGE THEORY. By: Mandeep Chahal & Arvinder Khaira. Force Field Analysis: Driving Forces. Driving Forces are forces that push in a direction that causes change to occur. They cause a shift in the equilibrium towards change.

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By: Mandeep Chahal & Arvinder Khaira

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Force Field Analysis: Driving Forces

  • Driving Forces are forces that push in a direction that causes change to occur.

  • They cause a shift in the equilibrium towards change.

  • i.e. A married couple who has to get ready for a party, the husband is on the couch watching the football game. The wife encourages her husband to get ready because there is going to be free beer at the party. The husband starts to get ready in a hurry. The driving forces are: The wife encouraging the husband & The incentive of free alcohol at the party.

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Force Field Analysis: Restraining Forces

  • Restraining forces are forces that counter driving forces. They oppose change.

  • Restraining forces cause a shift in the equilibrium which opposes change

  • i.e.In the case of the husband and wife getting ready for the party. Present at the party is going to be the husbands cousin whom he despises. The cousin and the husband have not got along for many years and if the husband was to go, there surely would be a fight. The husband also finds out that the beer is non-alcoholic.

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Force Field Analysis: Equilibrium

  • Equilibrium is a state of being where driving forces equal restraining forces and no change occurs

  • Equilibrium can be raised or lowered by changes that occur between the driving and restraining forces

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Kurt Lewin’s Change Theory

  • Consists of three distinct and vital stages:

    • “Unfreezing”

    • “Moving to a new level or Changing”

    • “Refreezing”

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  • Involves finding a method of making it possible for people to let go of an old pattern that was counterproductive in some way

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“Moving to a new level”

  • Involves a process of change in thoughts, feeling, behavior, or all three, that is in some way more liberating or more productive

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  • Is establishing the change as a new habit, so that it now becomes the “standard operating procedure.” Without this stage of refreezing, it is easy to backslide into the old ways.

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Schein, E.H. (1995). Kurt Lewin’s Change Theory in the Field and in the Classroom: Notes toward a model of managed learning. Working Paper 3821. Available from: (pdf) bitstream/1721.1 /2576/1/swp-3821-32871445.pdf.

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