Force Field Analysis Problem Solving

Force Field Analysis Problem Solving-58
Known today as ‘the grandfather of applied behavioral science,’ Lewin, a Polish-born, Berlin-educated Jew majoring in Social Psychology, left Nazi-dominated Germany for the USA in 1933, saying, ‘I will not teach in a country where my daughter cannot be a student.’ This practical way of thinking about real world situations led him to create his revolutionary conceptual models for human behavior. Anyone who has ever heard or used words like ‘feedback’ or ‘action research’ or ‘group dynamics’ or ‘self-managed work teams’ or ‘force field,’ has been impacted by Kurt Lewin.

Known today as ‘the grandfather of applied behavioral science,’ Lewin, a Polish-born, Berlin-educated Jew majoring in Social Psychology, left Nazi-dominated Germany for the USA in 1933, saying, ‘I will not teach in a country where my daughter cannot be a student.’ This practical way of thinking about real world situations led him to create his revolutionary conceptual models for human behavior. Anyone who has ever heard or used words like ‘feedback’ or ‘action research’ or ‘group dynamics’ or ‘self-managed work teams’ or ‘force field,’ has been impacted by Kurt Lewin.

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In response to an urgent request from the manager at Harwood Manufacturing Company in rural Virginia for help in raising production levels, John R. French (an external consultant from the University of Michigan and dyed-in-the-wool Lewianian) went to see what could be done.

Working with an internal personnel manager, Lester Coch, they designed and carried out what was probably the first ‘action research process.’ Harwood, a new pajama-making facility, was losing money rapidly, with very high turnover and absenteeism, in spite of higher wages and greater benefits than workers were making elsewhere.

The Force Field Analysis is another helpful tool to organise information to extract its insight in advance of a brainstorm.

(The earlier discussion was about a SWOT Analysis.) The original model was developed in the 1960s by German psychologist Kurt Lewin to visualise the opposing forces inherent in any issue or situation.

Force field analysis requires the full participation of everyone involved to provide the accurate information required for an effective analysis.

This can be a disadvantage when full participation isn't possible, resulting in an analysis that doesn't provide a realistic picture of the supporting and opposing forces.

Somewhat different from the process of listing pros and cons, force field analysis allows you to develop decision-making strategies in terms of strengthening the forces in support of a decision and reducing the impact of any opposition.

Force field analysis was developed by psychologist Kurt Lewin, a pioneer in the field of social psychology.

It’s strictly a personal preference, but I find the Force Field Analysis (instead of the SWOT Analysis) is more ideal for the field of communications because the situational columns help define the existing, preferred and worst mindsets or perceptions of important audiences.

In turn, this helps to identify the key communications opportunities to leverage and the communications issues to address.

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