The impact of new technologies in the knowledge society

Author:Mihane Berisha-Namani; Myrvete Badivuku-Pantina; Afërdita Berisha-Shaqiri
Pages:449-455

Mihane Berisha-Namani. Associate Professor, Ph.D. Department of Management &Informatics, Faculty of Economics, University of Pristina, Kosova. (e-mail: mihane_berisha@yahoo.com)

Myrvete Badivuku-Pantina. Associate Professor, Ph.D. Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics, University of Pristina, Kosova (e-mail: myrvetebadivuku@yahoo.com)

Afërdita Berisha-Shaqiri. Lecturer, Mr. Sc. Department of Management &Informatics, Faculty of Economics, University of Pristina, Kosova. (e-mail: aferdita44@hotmail.com)

Page 449

1. Introduction

We are entering a period of change in all spheres of life as far reaching as any we have seen where usage of new technologies plays a central role. Society is changing rapidly and become more dependent on new technologies and Internet related technologies. Information has become a critical resource, synonymous with power and basic input to progress and development. Society is becoming “knowledge society” with workforce largely of a wide variety of “knowledge workers”. New technologies had a great impact on all aspects of life and the global economy is undergoing a fundamental transformation. Our life has improved substantially and most of these changes have been driven by technologies. New technologies has the potential to be a powerful enabler of development and offer possibilities and opportunities for ensuring sustainable socio-economic development. Therefore, world wide countries are using new technologies to successfully explore the opportunities it presents for their social and economic transformation. Society is never thePage 450 same again. We have new society, new economy, new business, new tools and new rules. The first section of this paper discuss the impact of information technology on social and economic development, while the second section look in detail at the impact of new technologies at education.

2. New technologies and knowledge society

The term “knowledge society” has now been in so much use in recent years that we are expected to know what it means. The information revolution has most clearly invaded our homes and our live has improved substantially1. The growing importance of new technologies result with the acceptance of the idea of a new kind of society, with a new age known as knowledge society [Krishan Kumar:16]. Knowledge society is a society that creates, shares and uses knowledge for the prosperity weel-being of its people and it’s a society with workforce largely of a wide variety of “knowledge workers”. In the knowledge society, technology is one of the most important factors of any production and service activity.

Technology brings economic growth opportunities and introduces social changes in society in general [C. Avgerou and T. Cronford, 2002:124]. Several theories elaborate on connection between technology and economic and social changes2. Even critics of the knowledge society concepts agree that new technologies has very real impact into our live. While, some authors argue that what makes today the knowledge society is the fact that so many people realy on computers, especially since the advent of personal computers and the Internet as network of networks, which opens completely new opportunities for enterprises, businesses and costumers.[15 ].

The convergence of computer and communication technologies have a wide ranging influence in society and is playing a critical role. As a result of development of new technologies3 also known as information and communication technology (ICT) and their usage over the last few years, society has changed rapidly4 and has been transformed into a knowledge society with a knowledge economy5, where knowledge is the most important resource. Knowledge6 is what people know about a specific technology as well as the various kinds of things can do using that technology. As economies move from industrial society to information and the knowledge society and post-industrial era, information and knowledge become important and crucial resources [C.W.Holsapple]. While, technological developments have transformed the majority of wealth creating work from “physically-based” to work “knowledge-based”, information had become a priceless product and technology and knowledge are now the key factors of production [19]. Information technology defined as the technology required for information processing is a vital feature of the move to a knowledge society.

As noted earlier, information technology is a generic term covering computers, broadcasting, information systems and telecommunications and computer networks and is used to store,Page 451 manipulate, distribute or create information. Information technology7 has played a central role in enabling the growth of the knowledge society where information and knowledge are increasingly becoming the key resource, global product and the gold of the knowledge society [13].

Information technology can countribute to income generation and enables people and enterprises to capture economic opportunities by increasing process efficiency and creating opportunities for employment [24]. The “digital” and “virtual” nature of new technology can reduce costs and is leading to creation of new products and services and distribution channels within traditional industries as well as innovative business models and whole new industries [24]. We can mention here businesses that start up where not possible without online access such as Amazon.com, eBay.com etc. and many of jobs such as Web designers, Internet consulting, network administrator etc. did not exist prior to decade ago. These technology is having potential impact in individuals, organization and society [James O. Hicks, 1993:90].

Usage of new technologies is revolutionizing the rules of business, resulting in structural transformation and playing an important role to foster innovative products and business processes. Challenge has know shifted to incorporating information technology in both the internal and external activities of organizations [20].

Information technology creates linkages...

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