Technology and Expansion
The following post is adapted from my personal academic coursework.
Technology and Expansion
One of my classmates discussed technology and expansion as drivers of organizational change. Technology and expansion are closely related ideas. Scott and Davis defined technology as “the work performed by an organization” and included Hulin and Roznowski’s definition of “the physical combined with the intellectual or knowledge processes by which materials in some form are transformed into outputs.” This conceptualization of technology as the means of an organization’s production relates technology directly to organizational growth. As organizations grow, they must expand to accommodate their increased production. Thus, technology drives expansion, which in turn drives technology.
Technology Drives Expansion
Skousen discussed how technology led to expansion throughout American history: “The climate of free-market economics allowed science to thrive in an explosion of inventions and technical discoveries which, in merely 200 years, gave the world the gigantic new power resources of harnessed electricity, the internal combustion engine, jut propulsion, exotic space vehicles, and all the wonders of nuclear energy. Communications were revolutionized, first by the telegraph, then the telephone, followed by radio and television. The whole earth was explored from pole to pole—even the depths of the sea. Then men left the earth in rocket ships and actually walked on the moon. They sent up a space plane that could be maneuvered and landed back on the earth. The average length of life was doubled; the quality of life was tremendously enhanced. Homes, food, textiles, communications, transportation, central heating, central cooling, world travel, millions of books, a high literacy rate, schools for everybody, surgical miracles, medical cures for age-old diseases, entertainment at the touch of a switch, and instant news, twenty-four hours a day.”
This technology has continued to lead to a globalized, interconnected, online world. The 21st century global citizen has all the aforementioned creature comforts, but adds instant communication, instant food, instant entertainment, instant information, and nearly instant transportation. The modern world has access to just about anything one can imagine, whenever and wherever he or she wants it, if the price is right.
Consumers certainly benefit from this technology and the luxuries it affords, but how does it drive expansion? Consider streaming media as an example. As customers began subscribing to Netflix, this drove the company to expand its workforce and offerings. As they continued to succeed, competitors sprang up and began to emulate Netflix’s success by streaming media content to subscribers. This expanded market required more technology for Netflix to maintain its market share, so they began to produce original content. This added content is so popular that Netflix has expanded even more.
Deng et al. attributed the expansion of the export industry to technology. They stated that “rapidly expanding exports to institutionally distant locations has become more possible… …given the unprecedented convenience in gathering information from overseas markets with modern information and communication technologies.” They explained that technology allows exporters to research import openness and internal markets for destination countries which allows them to expand more profitably.
Expansion Drives Technology
Merida described how expansion demands and drives technological innovation: “The great growth of Israel ‘demanded wisdom in organization..., business leaders need wisdom to organize a growing business…, [and] church leaders need wisdom as the church grows.’” While Merida uses the term “wisdom,” he is referring to Hulin and Roznoski’s definition of technology as “the intellectual or knowledge processes by which materials… …are transformed into outputs.” Merida further explained that “the purpose [of ministry] is to facilitate growth in the best possible way.” Ministers should utilize technology to expand God’s kingdom and the local church.
Baltaru and Soysal also discussed how expansion places a demand for technological innovation within the organization. They explained that in the modern sphere of ideas, “knowledge production is increasingly built in private firms and non-academic organizations” which has led universities to expand in order “to proactively engage with wider society.” They explained that this expansion “also affects the ways in which high education institutions are run.” Essentially, the expansion into new market territory requires new technology.
Technology and expansion are closely related. Technology enables production and production drives growth. As organizations grow, they produce and demand more technology. This cycle of growth is in keeping with God’s first commandment to mankind in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Baltaru, R. & Soysal, Y. N. (2018). Administrators in higher education: Organizational expansion in a transforming institution. Higher Education, 76(2), 213-229. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734/017-0204-3
Crowson, M. (2021, May 12). Changes of Organizations [Discussion post]. https://learn.liberty.edu/webapps/blackboard/execute/announcement?method=search&context=course_entry&course_id=_723076_1&handle=announcements_entry&mode=view
Deng, Z., Jean, R., & Sinkovics, R. R. (2018). Rapid expansion of international new ventures across institutional distance. Journal of International Business Studies, 49(8), 1010-1032. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41267-017-0108-6
Merida, T. (2015). Christ-centered exposition commentary: Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Kings. B & H Publishing Group.
Scott, W. R. & Davis, G. F. (2016). Organizations and organizing: Rational, natural, and open system perspectives (6th ed.). Routledge.
Skousen, W. C. (1981). The 5000 year leap: A miracle that changed the world. National Center for Constitutional Studies.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version (1982). Thomas Nelson, Inc.