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Impact of Science and Technology on Work and Employment

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Impact of Science and Technology on Work and Employment

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Impact of Science and Technology on Work and Employment

Science and technology have made work easier for humans at workplace and increases production while on the other hand reduces work and employment opportunities. This makes the relationship between these two to be intermediate, dilemmatic having benefits and drawbacks at the same time. It influences decisions by managers, politicians who battle the critics from both sides of the arguments (Blyton and Jenkins 1992: 212).

Surveillance of operations in companies has been regarded an efficient way that managers can access workers performances. Recording time in and outs, barcode readers, telephone calls and electronic receipts help managers with information on exact operations that take place with reduced corruption. However, employees have considered this as unfair because of stringent measures they cannot cope with. Researchers found that the employees develop a counter measure to this surveillance to their satisfaction – they can modify technology to suit their needs (Blyton and Jenkins 1992: 213).  Researchers argue that technology has actually created more than it takes. This is evident when a focus is made on the jobs that technology creates. Teleworking is a technique that has employed many people today. The employees work in their remote places delivering work over continents while they sit in their comfort zones. There are a lot of people employed online, students studying online, online marketers, freelancers, web developers, bloggers, reporters, online tutors etc. technology has also employed specialists who design, fabricate, install, operate, repair, recycle and finally dispose machines (Blyton and Jenkins 1992: 214).  

In the pre-modern age, there was almost zero technology applied to work. The activities involved Paleolithic hunting and gathering, Neolithic farming and artisanship. These activities were done using simple tools, horses and ploughing tools. The role of horse seized on introduction of tractors on the first waves of automation in 1960s and when the engine was invented.

In modern stage, science gained ground with systematic and proven science arrived through experiments and rationalization transformed the tech world further from the pre-modern stage level. Calculations, predictions, measurements and control was done to achieve rationalization on issues affecting the society. The past generation has been an era of microprocessors, small and cheap, that made work easier, efficient, accurate, faster and flexible. These processors was applied in a wide range of engineering applications making work easier and faster than actual employees can do. Skeptics argued the effect of these devices on levels of employment, whether they will increase or decrease employment opportunities. Discrete jobs are faced off by technological change for instance clerical jobs, filing system jobs, stores and inventory managers; secretaries’ etc. journalists can now print and edit work on their own without use of publishers and compositors. Technology has combined jobs so that one person with a machine can do a job initially done by more people. This has significant savings on production that has made products cheaper, which is a benefit to the final consumer. The advancements in information and communication technology such as mobile phoes and laptops have enabled workers to work while at home, teleconferencing in meetings and has reduced working hours spent during movement from one office to another. Modern digital filing system is non-labor intensive and accessibility to these files are done just by the click of a mouse (Blyton and Jenkins 1992: 213).

On the other hand, both developed and developing nations experience an increase in unemployment and underemployment of its citizens, a situation termed as technological unemployment. More companies are employing modernized equipment that render human labor less efficient, slow and produce low quality goods. Companies are busy downsizing for more efficient production process. They also do re-engineering, lean production, total quality management, decruiting and post Fordism. The use of technology has also reduced social integration seen by young generation battling with antisocial behavior. Young adults also face frustration after having a brighter past with a gloomy future forcing them to resign and try other economic activities (Riffkin 1995: 5).

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