Monday, September 7, 2009

Shifting Structures of Society

The Social Impacts of the Technology Revolution – Part II of Technology’s Promise

This section discusses what the author describes as the “creative destruction of social institutions”. William E. Halal,(Halal, 2008), in his book "Technology's Promise", feels that the issue goes beyond organizational change and feels that existing societies , in order to shift to be more socially responsible, need an institutional change instead.

The hierarchical order of business, government and even families is discussed.

Halal says that the change that needed is a decentralized self-organized network of “self managed internal enterprises”.

Additionally Halal states that the profit motive, which dominates most of the corporations in the world, will have to be transformed into a corporate community where focus will shift to the intangible knowledge assets of skilled workers, partnerships, and software. This focus will replace over the shoulder supervision and allow innovation, creativity; entrepreneurship and overall knowledge work will dominate. This new style of management and worker will emphasize what is produced and not where.
In this brave new configuration, leaders will listen and care rather that dictate.

I tend to agree with some of the components of the author’s perspective, I must say that it appears that it will be quite some time (because of the nature of humans) before we shift to a more cooperative, socially responsible business and societal model.

Today’s information and media evidence points to the fact that our society’s evolution toward “science-based interdisciplinary dialogue” is currently mired in the phase described by “group pathologies” (Christakis, 2006). This phase describes how individuals can disrupt the work of groups through expressing negative social-emotional behaviors such as:
• Venting anger and frustration
• Perceiving the situation to be a threat to their self-interests
• Using the situation to get attention
• Following some inappropriate strategy to meet social and emotional needs

It (the shift to social responsibility) will only begin when the current privileged societal groups realize that the privileges of the past are dinosaurs in the near and long term reality.

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