The purpose is to explore the inherent complexity of Kurt Lewin's force field theory through applied analysis of organizational case examples and related methods. The methodology applies a range of tools from the consultancy research domain, including force field analysis of complex organizational scenarios, and applies bricolage and corroboration to emerging discoveries from semi-structured interviews, author experience, critical reflection and literature survey. Findings are that linear representation of internal and external forces in organizational applications of field theory does not fully explain the paradox of inverse vectors in the forces of change. The force field is not an impermeable thing; instead, it morphs. Examples of the inverse principle and its effects are detailed and extended in this analysis. The implications of the research are that force field analysis and related change processes promoted in organizational change literature run the risk of missing key complexities. The inclusion of the inverse principle can provide enhanced, holistic understanding of the prevailing forces for change. The augmentation of the early work of Kurt Lewin, and extension of previous analyses of his legacy in the Journal of Change Management and elsewhere, provide, in this article, change analysis insights that align well with current organizational environments.
Field of Research
150311 Organisational Behaviour
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
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