Field Theory


Field theory is an important idea in individual and organisational change management. Its relevance as a theory of leadership and change is highlighted, numerous strengths and weaknesses are described, and it is shown how it can be used to address problems faced by organisations today.

Technique Overview

Field Theory

Field Theory Definition

"An approach to understanding group behaviour by trying to map out the totality and complexity of the field in which the behaviour takes place. It is one of the four elements of Lewin's Planned approach to change" (Burnes, 2009).

Field Theory Description *

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Business Evidence

Field Theory Strengths *

Field Theory Weaknesses *

Examples of Field Theory *

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Business Application

Field Theory Implementation *

Success Factors of Field Theory *

Measures of Field Theory *

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Professional Tools

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Further Reading

Field Theory Web Resources *

Field Theory Print Resources *

Field Theory References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Bamforth, K. & Trist, E. (1951). Some Social and Psychological Consequences of the Longwall Method of Coal Getting. Human Relations, Vol. 4, pp.3-38.
  • Barton, D., Newell, R., & Wilson, G. (2002). Preparing for a financial crisis. The McKinsey Quarterly, pp. 79 – 87.
  • Burnes, B. (2009) Managing Change, Pearson, Essex, UK.
  • Cartwright, N. (1987) “Philosophical Problems of Quantum Theory: The Response of American Physicists.” Pp. 417-435 in The Probabilistic Revolution, Volume II: Ideas in the Sciences, edited by Lorenz Krüger, Gerd Gigerenzer, and Mary S. Morgan. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

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