Is Life Better Today Than in Past?

This question presents a double-sided argument given that there are opponents and proponents of the issue. A comparison between traditional and modern ways of life requires a comprehensive and objective understanding of the factors that defined the way of living in the past and in the present (Gehin, Zwolinski & Brissaud, 2008).

The argument in response to the question presented is that life is more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous in the present than it was in the past, and will adopt this worrying trend in the future (Farjoun, 2007). The reasoning to support the argument is presented in detail in the study below.

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The future is always uncertain, as no one can predict the forthcoming occurrences due to the dynamism of global changes in all aspects of life, and the diverse effects that they have on the world economy. Many changes have occurred in this century not witnessed in the previous ones; they are an indication to the transformations that take place in the world. When observed from a qualitative and quantitative perspective, no clear difference is noted between the present and the past, except for the variations that have existed in the processes, configurations, and structures of the models of life (Kaufman, 2012). Largely, the transformations can be generalised as the presence of global forces in life structures.

The clearest affirmation to the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of modern life can be the assessment of the knowledge acquisition structures adopted by people. In the past, strategists were unable to comprehend the outcome of the future world events completely, and so even the most talented strategists were less informed of the forthcoming events (Bisson, Stephenson & Viguerie, 2010). The picture painted in this scenario is that of a world globally evolving and changing at a high speed, but with its inhabitants having lesser knowledge of the likely future occurrences. This answers the question that the future is expected to be more volatile and more changes are anticipated.

According to Rugman and Hodgetts (2001), the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the current life as compared to the past can be attributed to the massive embracement of technological advancements at the expense of building stronger social relations amongst humanity. Technology is highly beneficial for humans, given the transformation and radicalisation of the nature of life that have been attributed to the same. Technology and machines have been designed to improve the ways things are done; the speed and the efficiency they provide aid nearly all human processes and operations today. However, the detriment of this perspective is that the same technology is responsible for the mass destructions that have been witnessed in the forms of wars, civil unrest, and advancement of global epidemics such as outbreaks of viral diseases (Farjoun, 2002). This means that the future in expected to be more volatile.


Furthermore, the extreme usage and reliance on the technological advancements have led to increased social degradation as there have been extreme social transformations that have been reported in the current times (Centre Canadien de Gestion & Drucker, 1995). It would be expected that the passage of time would make humans closer to each other; however, individuals are currently less concerned about others, even in social gatherings. The introduction of mobile technology has had an adverse impact on social relationships amongst people as most of the formal conversation techniques that used to exist have been overtaken by the use of these gadgets. The ambiguity is that people are developing less value for fellow human beings at the expense of new technology. The outcome has been the establishment of chaotic society that suffers from negative effects of social transformative forces.

As noted by Berberoglu (2009), in another context, the present life is more dynamic than in the past and will be even more dynamic in the future. For instance, the past witnessed far slower and smaller social changes than the present. There were fewer occurrences of rebellions, wars and violent intellectual crises in the past. The study into these trends presents an expectation that the situation will aggravate in the future with further adoption of technological advancements. Atteslander (2007) also asserts this case by saying that such scenario presents a multifaceted understanding of the authenticities of life when people always live in constant fear of the unknown. Much attention is paid to the global transformation in the current world caused by different personalities such as politicians, scholars, press and the public, all of them have diverse interests invested into the same (Centre Canadien de Gestion & Drucker, 1995).

These phenomena have led to the adoption of certain extreme decisions based on the desire for conformity, without much consideration given to the impacts of the changes. In the recent past, the attention given to the perspectives of life by the array of personalities mentioned was limited as the way of living in itself was crude and informal. However, with the constant generation of ideas and opinions, the change has happened that played a significant role in human life. The change has been quite radical as it has made life very complex. Subsequently, life has been uncertain in the perceptions presented for the future generations, and ambiguous lacking sensible achievements affiliated to their current adaptations. Therefore, life in general has been volatile in terms of already witnessed and obtained outcomes that have only contributed to the constant elimination of humans, in one way or another (Bisson, Stephenson & Viguerie, 2010).

Seeking to understand the concepts of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of life, a person can face a daunting question of whether the ideas being constantly established are strongly rooted in the continuity and permanence of life. Furthermore, the nature of modern life in comparison to the past or in expectation of the future does not seem to be in line with the unstable hyper-competitive and turbulent economic surroundings that we live in today. Therefore, the expectations may be varied for businesses/firms and for individuals. Firms in the present world have had to contend with the changing economic conditions that define the nature of business they practice, and the maximization of profits or loss of the same (Farjoun, 2007).

The current global business strategies are defined by the recognisable economic models that have been developed over time. These strategies have made firms compete strongly for the scarce economic resources so as to meet the unlimited consumer demands globally. This requires that companies engage in structural approaches that are more diverse than the business approaches applied in the traditional settings. However, even though there is a considerable consensus on the contributions and applicability of the current structural approaches, the question arises concerning the relevance of the approach to the current ever-changing global economic environment (Hall, 2009).

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In this context, the argument towards the nature of business life can largely be made in senses that the modern businesses and industries experience faster technological changes, information revolutions, globalisation, and high rate of competition (hyper-competition); they are the phenomena that were unknown to previous generations. These experiences are deemed to change in the near future; hence, continuing presenting the business arena with further complex models to operate. These arguments are quite compelling considering that the traditional concept of strategy, as applied by businesses, is hard to realise to some extent and the presence of industries that are unstable will only continue undermining the value and persistence of the existing industrial strategies in use, structures, and commitments to resource allocations (Cantner, 2000).

In another context, the volatility, complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity in the realms of business life can be described from the viewpoint of the change in the environment that will make firms drag in their operations. In most occasions, companies have been unable to change and adapt to their changing environments quickly; hence, it has resulted in failing to develop and deploy their resources in time before presented long-term economic strategies become obsolete (Bisson, Stephenson & Viguerie, 2010).

Consequently, the existence of uncertain/unpredictable business environments, which is complex in its nature, may imply that human cognitive abilities are surpassed, thus, posing the challenge of the available detailed analysis, information and predictions that firms are exposed to. Furthermore, the current rapid and powerful economic transformations force firms, individuals and the governments to categorise the superior achievements that have been witnessed as remote possibilities and amplifications of the role of change in business successes. For instance, the idea held by firms in relation to the objective of competitive strategy is the one that should be able to generate various temporal benefits for firms and also to be optimised as strategic innovations (Farjoun, 2007). As a result, the modern ways of life, both political and economical, will continuously present people with dynamic challenges to cope with, in relation to former life and in anticipation of future changes (Atteslander, 2007).

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In the summary it should be stated that the nature and form of life in itself are ambiguous and uncertain considering the dynamic adaptations that mankind has had to deal with, particularly in relation to the flexibility, dynamic capabilities and operational excellence exhibited. Additionally, as noted by Gehin et al. (2008), the volatility and complexity of life presents itself in different forms that have also been sources to perceived changes that are yet to take place in global realms. Hence, with a structural approach, businesses, individuals and government agencies can be able to institutionalise and apply wide-ranging theoretical approaches and significant implications into the aspects of modern and future life with proper understanding of the ways of life in the past. Protection Status