Perhaps the most striking influence of technology is found on society. Practically every area of social life and the life of every individual has been, in some sense or the other, changed by the development in technology.
Preferences of people are constantly changing and this has pushed the business firms to the point, where innovation has become the need of the hour.
The new discoveries would remain idle as mere ideas if there were no laboratories to transform the ideas into creations. Technology reaching people through business is one part of the theory. The economic prosperity of a nation depends on technology.
People are used to technological innovations and breakthroughs and they want variety in every kind of purchase they make.
New varieties of products, more safe and comfortable, free from pollution, are to be produced and supplied to affluent sections. This calls for a massive investment in research and development.
In countries like Japan, much importance is attached to product design, quality, sophistication, delivery schedules and prices. High expectations need not be considered as problems by business persons but treated as an opportunity to satisfy their customer group.
Technology has resulted in complexity. Modern machines work faster and better, no doubt. However, if there is a technical problem, the presence of an expert is needed to repair the machinery.
Again, investment in machinery adds to the cost of capital and hence the merchandise has to be purchased form reliable sources.
The change in the technological process undoubtedly has its effect on the society. First, there is a change in the social life, with mobile populations drifting about in search of new centers of employment.
If it happens to be an agricultural economy, the result of such a drift would prove disastrous, with society being socially uprooted. Sometimes such a drift may result in new geographical distribution of population.
Technological change also brings considerable changes in the family, life style and attitude. The way we cook, communicate, use media and work are all affected by technology.
There are five stages of technological development. Each stage leaves a distinct influence on work and on social system.
Sequential progress is made from the lowest level to the highest level, in such a way that these five stages roughly represent the progress of civilization throughout history. Although one phase of technology tends to dominate a nation’s activities at a particular time, other phases will be often practiced at the same time.
Technology means change and more change. It forces changes on people whether they are prepared for it or not. In modern history, it has created what is called future shock, which means that change comes so fast and furious that it approaches the limits of human tolerance and people lose their ability to cope with it successfully.