Science and technology are advancing at a very rapid rate, but do we really understand all that is going on? Probably not. This paper will identify current issues related to science and technology from the business, governmental, and societal perspectives. However, before we can begin to understand the advances in science and technology, we must know the definitions of them. The Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia on compact disk defines science as “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of a phenomena” and it defines technology as “the application of science, especially in industry or commerce.”Business & TechnologyTechnology is increasingly seen as the defining characteristics of contemporary life. Looking backward, man has been distinguished from other species due to its use of tools and construction of artifacts, leading from one stage of evolution to another. In this fast moving world humans are totally dependent of sophisticated technological systems to meet virtually all their needs: food, housing, clothing, security, communication, transportation, health, entertainment, and learning.
We have built machines to control machines. Artificial intelligence is one of the major technological breakthroughs. Economists, historians, and sociologists all stress the importance of technology, but then trend to treat it with “neglect,” if not with outright contempt(Drucker). More surprisingly, businesses and businessmen have done little to understand technology and even less to manage it(Drucker).
Modern business is, to a very considerable extent, the creature of technology. Certainly the large business organization is primarily the business response to technological development. Modern industry was born when the new technology of power generation-primarily waterpower at first-forced manufacturing activities out of home and workshop and under one roof(Drucker). The modern factory began with the textile industry in eighteenth century Britain(Drucker). Also, the large business enterprise of today has its roots in the first “big business,” the railroad of the mid-nineteenth century, at least in technological innovation(Drucker). From then until now the growths of industries, such as, computers to pharmaceuticals have largely been the outgrowth of new technology(Drucker). At the same time business, has increasingly become the creator of technology(Drucker).
Two Faces of a CoinThe businesses and businessmen who maintain the traditional attitude toward technology see it as something puzzling, something outward, and something for which other people are responsible. Technology will be a threat to their survival, but to businesses and businessmen, who accept technology as their tool and their responsibility, it will be a major benefit.Small Business Chaos about New TechnologyOne of the key findings of a survey conducted by Yankelovich Partners Inc. on over 1,000 companies is that the majority of small business owners appreciates technology and use it to some degree(“Small”). However, they also found that most regard it cautiously and are often uncertain over what technology to buy, where to purchase it, and who to turn to for help and advice(“Small”). This shows that small business owners take a calculating approach to technological innovations and are quite uncertain about what technology to use. The confusion results in most small business owners buying individual pieces of technology rather than bundled or integrated systems. The United States Chamber and the United States Small Business Administration have also announced that there are three organizations to promote new opportunities for small businesses through information technology.
The three organizations are categorized under the name “Small Office Solutions.” They initiate programs that involve a sweeping five-part national assistance effort to educate small business on the benefits of technology. (Paragraph adapted from “Small”)Technology: Workplace Renovation Over the last twenty years, the workplace has changed in more ways than we could have ever imagined. The Industrial Age has evolved into the Information Age-bits and bytes of data rocket around the globe twenty-four hours a day. Technology is integrating a new concept of work. Increasingly, companies and human resource departments are examining work processes, human capital, and knowledge in radically different ways. The next decade will bring even greater change.
Technology is driving change but human change will also influence the direction of technology. Today technology is infiltrating every business practice and driving enormous strategic and practical progress. Managers are focusing on measuring efficiency and productivity rather than tracking a group of employees and tasks.
3Com Corporation’s General Manager, Reginald Best, predicts that