Chapter 7 Technology A Double Edged Sword
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.
- Elena Cavagnaro, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (Author) https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5347-2509
For the source title:
- Elena Cavagnaro, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (Editor) https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5347-2509
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
Anderson, R.C. (2009) Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, Profits, People, Purpose: Doing Business by Respecting the Earth, New York: St Martin's Press.
Bakeys (n.d) http://www.bakeys.com. Accessed 26 February 2018.
Cavagnaro, E. and Curiel, G.H. (2012) The Three Levels of Sustainability, Sheffield: Greenleaf.
Cavagnaro, E. Melissen, F.W. and Düweke, A. (2018) The host-guest relationship is the key to sustainable hospitality: Lessons learned from a Dutch case study, Hospitality & Society, 8 (1) 23-44.
Centennial Light (n.d.) http://www.centennialbulb.org, accessed on 26 February 2018
Ehrlich, P.R. and Holdren, J.P. (1971) Impact of population growth, Science, 171 (3977) 1212-17.
Goldstein, N.J., Cialdini, R.B. and Griskevicius, V. (2008) A room with a viewpoint: using social norms to motivate environmental conservation in hotels, Journal of Consumer Research, 35 (3) 472-482.
Guerra Santin, O. J. (2013) Occupant behaviour in energy efficient dwellings: evidence of a rebound effect, Housing and the Built Environment, 28 (2) 311-327, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-012-9297-2. Accessed 27 February 2018.
Hopewell, J., Dvorak R. and Kosior, E. (2009) Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364 (1526), 2115–2126.
Krajewski, M. (2014) The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy, The Phoebus cartel engineered a shorter-lived lightbulb and gave birth to planned obsolescence. https://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/history/the-great-lightbulb-conspiracy/. Accessed 26 February 2018.
McDonough, W. and M. Braungart (2002) Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, New York: North Point Press.
One Earth Design (n.d.) https://www.oneearthdesigns.com/blog/compare-solar-cookers/. Accessed 27 February 2018.
Pavegen (n.d.) http://www.pavegen.com/about/. Accessed on 26 February 2018)
Philips (2015) www.philips.com/a-w/about/news/archive/standard/news/press/2015/20150416-Philips-provides-Light-as-a-Service-to-Schiphol-Airport.html. Accessed on February 2018.
Plastic Soup Foundation (n.d.) https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/en/. Accessed 27 February 2018.
Raworth, K. (2017) Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to think like a 21 st century economist, White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing
Rockström, J., W. Steffen, K. Noone, Å. Persson, F. S. Chapin, III, E. Lambin, T. M. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, H. Schellnhuber, B. Nykvist, C. A. De Wit, T. Hughes, S. van der Leeuw, H. Rodhe, S. Sörlin, P. K. Snyder, R. Costanza, U. Svedin, M. Falkenmark, L. Karlberg, R. W. Corell, V. J. Fabry, J. Hansen, B. Walker, D. Liverman, K. Richardson, P. Crutzen, and J. Foley (2009) Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity, Ecology and Society, 14 (2) 32. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/. Accessed 26 February 2018.
Soto, O.R. (2011) Energy savings through peer pressure, www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-efficiency-with-a-smile-2011feb11-htmlstory.html. Accessed 27 February 2018.
Studio Roosegaarde (n.d.) https://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/sustainable-dance-floor/. Accessed 26 February 2018.
WCED (World Commission on Environment and Development) (1987) Our Common Future, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
YouTube (2016), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73jPh0eRP-Y.Accessed 27 February 2018.
Zhong, R. (2016) Can an edible spoon save the world?, The Wall Street Journal, 25 October.