Technology is the total set of any human techniques, know-how, systems, procedures, and strategies utilized in the achievement of specific goals, like scientific research or in the creation of new products or services. The word “technology” was first used in this context in 1843 by the Rev. Robert Peel and was made popular by Sir Alfred Wallace, who popularized it. Today, technology is a branch of knowledge and is affected by technology, culture, science, and society. The interaction and application of technology to various fields and activities have made it a dynamic force in modern society.
The study of technology was primarily geared toward explaining how knowledge develops and what practical purposes it serves. Through the studies of technology, scholars were able to distinguish between theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. The former is abstract, intellectual, and spiritual in nature, while the latter refers to actual practical applications in society. With the passage of time and developments in technology, concepts of knowledge have undergone substantial changes with the increase of technological complexity.
In earlier times, the concept of knowledge was not clearly demarcated because all knowledge was seen as subjective. This resulted in the inability of experts to arrive at common solutions to practical problems. The problem of knowing how something works, for instance, is not solved because experts fail to agree on the specific knowledge that should be attributed to the cause and effect relationship. Another limitation of the scientific method is that it only makes use of the natural sciences as its source of knowledge. It does not apply to technology because technological systems tend to emerge from natural systems, not vice versa.
The methodology of science generally makes use of the natural and technical sciences to derive generalizations about the behavior of the universe and to learn more about the particular part of the universe it is associated with. In contrast, technological systems are developed for practical application. It is difficult to relate the results of scientific research with the technological systems that have already been developed because the former refers to a prior stage of development and the latter to a subsequent stage.
The challenge lies in applying scientific knowledge to practical ends. For example, it is hard to apply mathematics to the military context because the practices would necessarily be different from the regular contexts found in the military. The same goes with other disciplines. Practical applications require that knowledge must be generalized to include all possible future scenarios. Theoretical knowledge may be used as a reference frame but it must be limited to provide general information about current situations. The practical meaning of a mathematical formula is not relevant if the formula is applicable only for closed systems.
Leaders must therefore learn how to make use of different disciplines in addressing challenges. One way to do so is to learn how to combine quantitative and qualitative tools to analyze data and find relevant lessons for decision-making. When leaders learn to implement lessons learned through scientific knowledge, they can also use that knowledge to form frameworks within their strategic management plans to increase efficiency. These frameworks allow the leaders to prioritize tasks and make the most of limited resources.
Leaders must learn how to work with the different technologies to make them more efficient. They need to be able to combine and leverage scientific, technological and managerial knowledge. It is not enough to just rely on what science has to offer. Effective decision-makers make use of knowledge synthesis strategies, which help them synthesize and leverage knowledge across all disciplines and integrate it into unique, problem-solving solutions. When applied correctly, these solutions are realistic and can meet the demands of today’s economic, organizational and strategic landscapes.
Science and technology studies offer many tools for researchers and practitioners who are engaged in understanding, predicting and preventing disasters and other events that could occur. These disciplines also have many applications that help people learn about the practical uses of technologies. The study of how people use and acquire knowledge about technology, particularly in specific domains, is also important. The study of how various technologies affect one another leads to the study of technology and its impacts on society at large.