Broadly defined, the term Technology refers to the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as Industrial arts, engineering, applied science and pure science (Dictionary. Com). Technology is ubiquitous, it is everywhere. For instance, it, in the form of computer, has become part of our everyday- life by invading our workplace, our homes etc Jeffrey K. L. , Carol J. H. , Jennifer K, 1999).
As time evolves, it is evident that technology is becoming increasingly important as well as dominant in every aspect. In this essay, the scope of discussion Limits to technology In the organizational context. "Technology will determine the future for organizations". In organizations, the definition of technology varies depending on the perspectives of the various schools of organizational theories. The gist of this essay pertains to the discussion of how the Modernist, Symbolic Interpretive and Post-modernist perspectives respond to the above mentioned statement.
Because of the fact that no one perspective would nominate the ever-changing world, it is Important for us to develop a better understanding of the various perspectives In order to have a better grasp of organizational theory. The underlying assumptions of the three perspectives are firstly, ontology where it deals with the question of whether a particular phenomenon truly exists, or it depends on the perspectives In which one sees It (Hatch & Conclude, 2013).
It helps us to Identify the way of deriving and justifying the facts, leading to their strong legitimacy and reliability (College & Bailey, 2008). There are two legs to Ontology ? Objectivism and Subjectivism. The second assumption of epistemology looks at how knowledge is gained through analyzing the principles, enabling us to better understand knowledge Monsoons & Classes, 2001). Epistemology can be explained via Positivist Epistemology or Interpretative Epistemology.
Although the point of focus is different, epistemology and ontology are Interrelated because the way knowledge Is developed and the reliability Is dependent on the characteristics of reality in ontological assumptions (Hatch & Continue, 2013). These assumptions will be further explained in the paragraphs below, under individual organizational perspectives. The modernist approach emerged as early as the eighteenth century, and these early theorists' purpose is to seek rationality through technology and scientific means in a bid to free mankind from slavery and superstition (Hatch & Conclude, 2013).
Based on objectively ontology, modernists believe that the existence of reality Is not linked to the thoughts that one has but rather, it is linked to the expected reactions of individuals when faced with the things that occur around us. The modernists believe that truth is discovered through testing or conceptualization that is then tested against an objective world - Positivism Epistemology (Appleby et al. 1996). Technology has always been a central variable in organizational theory (Wanda J. O. , under three categories namely: 1. Objects denoted by the inputs of production, 2.
Task activities and processes which relates to the method of production and 3. The knowledge needed to develop and process the inputs to obtain the output. Barley (1986) defines the scope of technology as "hardware" - the equipment, canines, and instruments that human use in productive activities, whether industrial or informational devices. This means that technology is essential in organizations to produce products for generation of revenue. This is to the extent that human labor is being substituted with equipment (Blab et al, 1976).
In addition, from the definition above, the role of technology under the modern perspective also encompasses the production process as well as the adaptation of the organization to its environment (Hatch & Continue, 2013). This concept is illustrated by Proper (1967) where he defines technology as what is done to the inputs and how the outputs are produced and Thompson (1967) who characterizes the work flow of different organizations in terms of long-linked, mediating, and intensive technologies.
Clearly, the modern perspective on technology describes technologies as interactive and interdependent needs which an organization depends on. The studies of technology under the "Technological Imperative" model examine the impacts of technology on organization dimensions such as structure, size, reference, as well as individual level dimensions such as task complexity, skill levels etc (Wanda J. O. , 1992).
In line with what is discussed above, this brings us to the premise that technology as well as the organizational and individual variables can be measured and predicted in the absence of human influence. All in all, the theory behind the modernism suggests that technology dominates the future of the workplace in terms of replacing manpower with machinery for instance. Thus, modernists support the notion that technology will determine the future of organization.