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Chapter 7 Technology A Double Edged Sword

DOI: 10.23912/9781911396376-3857

ISBN: 9781911396376

Published: January 2018

Component type: chapter

Published in: Sustainable Value Creation in Hospitality

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911396376-3447



This chapter functions as a brief introduction to the section on building and aims at clarifying what technology is and under which conditions it supports a more sustainable development of the hospitality industry.
The term ‘technology’ is composed by two words from ancient Greek: techne and logos. Techne means art, skills and a cunning hand; while logos refers to the capacity to explain something, to science. Thus, literally, technology is the science of crafting, i.e. turning an input, which can be raw martials or energy, into an end product or a service. In other words, technology is a group of (human designed) tools, or knowledge, that transform inputs into outputs.
Humans have used technology since the beginnings. Think at stones thrown to animals to chase them; at the domestication of fire; at pottery – and so on. Animals, such as chimpanzees, use technology too: for example wooden sticks to fish for termites or stones to crack nuts open. To use technology one does not need to exactly know how it works. Think for example of driving a car or sending a message on a mobile phone: some may know exactly how these devices work; most of us know only how to use them.
Technology has been and still is widely used to make our life more comfortable and secure. Yet, technology can also be used to less noble scopes. The automatic gun used by suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland (Florida) on 14 February 2018 to kill seventeen people and wound fourteen is also a fruit of technology. In this chapter we will not discuss this type of technology, but will only consider the (unintended) negative consequences of technology developed to ease people’s life. Because technology has unintended consequences we called it in the chapter’s title ‘a double-edged sword’. In this chapter we will look at technology in general, and then give some examples applied to hospitality. The bottom line of our discussion is that in the context of sustainability, when evaluating technological solutions, managers should not only ask themselves whether the proposed solution improves productivity; increases profit or gives a competitive advantage. They should also ask themselves whether it also add value to people and planet.


For the source title:

Cite as

Cavagnaro, 2018

Cavagnaro, E. (2018) "Chapter 7 Technology A Double Edged Sword" In: Cavagnaro, E. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911396376-3857


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