Driving and Restraining Forces for Change

Driving and Restraining Forces

An organisation can have driving and restraining forces for change. To determine what type of change is occurring it is necessary to use a Force-Field Analysis. A Force-Field Analysis is the process of determining which forces drive and which resist a proposed change.

Driving Forces

Driving Forces are forces that support the change.

Examples of driving forces include:

  • An organisational cultural expects and welcomes change
  • Workforce that is willing to trust a change process and its leadership
  • Positive and capable management
  • Financial reserves (or sources of funds) to resource a change process

Restraining Forces

Restraining Forces are forces that work against the change.

  • Management that makes hasty, poorly timed or unclear decisions and Indecisiveness or procrastination can create uncertainty. It may cause employees to lose confidence in the decision-making abilities of management.
  • Employees will be affect by any organisational change. Staffing considerations is one of the most powerful reasons why employees resist change. Employees may resist change due to worries that they cannot adapt, which threaten established work routines.
  • Time may also act as a restraint, as when not enough time is allowed for people to think about the change, accept it and implement it. That is, it is too rushed or alternatively the timing of the change may be poor.
  • When a competitor dominates the marketplace, other organisations may think that it is a waste of time and resources to make changes so that they are competing. They are “content” with the status quo. Don’t dare to dream.
  • Low productivity can mean that organisational change can result in disruption to the operations system & work routines. Consequently, productivity may decrease (even if its only in the short-term) and this may be enough for some organisations to be hesitant about embracing change.
  • Organisational Inertia is an unenthusiastic response from management to proposed change. The lack of response when faced with a proposed change can occur because some managers do not want to move out of their comfort zone.
  • Legislation can also be an obstacle to organisational change
  • Cost is a major reason for resistance to organisational change is the financial cost of its implementation. The costs associated with change may not be viable. Organisations may conduct a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the change is worthwhile. Financial costs of resourcing changes includes new equipment, Redundancy payments, Retraining employees and Recruiting new staff