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Analysis of Kurt Lewin's Theory

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One of the major concepts of Lewin’s change theory is the force field which is the psychological forces in a person’s life space or environment during a given period of time in which the behavior takes place (Burnes & Cooke, 2012). Lewin stated that behavior is a function of the group environment, field, or life space that can be explained by the sub-concepts of force field which are driving or helping forces, restraining or hindering forces and status quo (Shirey, 2013). Lewin defined driving forces such as past, present and future elements, hopes, aspirations and emotional investments as psychological events that are considered a function of the life space which effect a social event in a positive way causing change. Restraining forces was defined by Lewin as forces that propose change and effect a social event in a negative direction preventing successful implementation of the change process. Status quo is a dynamic equilibrium composed of a balance between the driving and restraining forces (Zeigler, 2005).

Motivators are another major concept of Lewin’s theory which he defined as the initial stimuli that convinces individuals of a need for change. The three categories of motivators are confirmation of non-accomplishment which involves information that confirms the fact that the desired job is not being accomplished (Zeigler, 2005). Confirmation of lack of obtainment is information that confirms that what is wanted, needed, or expected, is not obtained and confirmation of lack of growth is information that confirms that growth or maturation is not being achieved (Zeigler, 2005).

Lewin stated that planned change occurs in three stages which are unfreezing, moving and refreezing. Unfreezing is the process that involves pres...

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McGuire, J.M., Noronha, G., Samal, L., Yeh, H., Crocetti, S., & Kravet, S. (2012). Patient safety perceptions of primary care providers after implementation of an electronic medical record system. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 28(2), 184-192. doi: 10.1007/s11606-012-2153-y.

Shirey, R.M. (2013). Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. Journal of Nursing Administration, 18(2), 69-72.

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