Getting Started

In Workshop One, you identified a significant community or organizational need within your own local community. You were also introduced to the project proposal for an organizational or community intervention.

In this activity, you will take the significant community or organizational need you identified and further analyze the issue. You will complete a force field analysis worksheet, in which you identify driving and restraining forces within your community or organization that can either facilitate or impede change. You should complete the force field analysis based on your own knowledge of your community or organization. You will continue to add to your knowledge and understanding of the community or organizational need through subsequent activities.

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Explore injustice and oppression within the social environment at local and global levels. (PO 3)
  • Develop knowledge of social work and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate communities and organizations. (PO 6, 7, 8, & 9)
  • Interpret information and data collected from communities and organizations. (PO 8)

Resources

  • Textbook: Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities
  • Article: Identifying Essential Techniques for Social Work Community Practice
  • File: Worksheet: Force Field Analysis.pdf

Background Information

Assessment and engagement in macro social work with communities and organizations requires understanding of the community as a social system. The social system is constantly in flux. According to the ecological perspective, systems within an environment are interconnected and multilayered. Systems engage in ongoing transactions with one another. Individuals, organizations, groups, and communities are constantly interacting with one another. Individuals engage in transactions with their communities and organizations, and the extent to which they have influence and resources affects the environment. Through these transactions, individuals change their environment, and the environment changes them.

When making changes in a community or organization, a force field analysis helps the social worker engaging in macro practice to assess what Kurt Lewin called “driving and restraining forces.” Driving forces are dynamics that help the social worker and community or organization facilitate change. Restraining forces are dynamics that obstruct change. Especially important in a force field analysis is detecting sources of power, defined in our course textbook as influential people who take the role of identifying important issues and framing the discussion around those issues.


Instructions

  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook, Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities, read Chapter 7, “Understanding Neighborhoods and Communities.”
  3. Review the article “Identifying Essential Techniques for Social Work Community Practice.”
    1. If you are not already logged into the IWU OCLS, you will be prompted to enter your login and password to access the article.
  4. Download the file Worksheet: Force Field Analysis.pdf.
  5. Based on the need you perceived in your community or organization and identified in Workshop One, complete the force field analysis worksheet. Identify the community or organizational issue and the driving and restraining forces.
    1. In the middle of the force field analysis worksheet, clearly define the specific need that you identified in your community or organization.
    2. On the left side of the worksheet, identify driving forces that could facilitate change. Driving forces can be any factors that could help facilitate change, including resources, attitudes, behaviors, traditions, values, interests, policies, laws, costs, or other issues.
    3. On the right side of the page, identify restraining forces that could impede change. Restraining forces can also be resources, attitudes, behaviors, traditions, values, interests, policies, laws, costs, or other issues that stand in the way of change.
  6. Using bullet points, identify at least 5 driving forces and 5 restraining forces on your worksheet.

 

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