The revolution or transformation in the institutions of work and economy due to technology came about through a shift in the means of production and of consumption. Means of production refers to the process by which the production of material goods is carried out in a society. In today?s world this process is carried out by people, with the major product being knowledge and/or information, not through factories or machines. Means of consumption is the process by which the consumption of a product by a society is carried out. In modern societies this is done through malls, shopping centers, self-employment and the Internet.
Knowledge has become the main product produced and consumed in our post-industrial society. As post-industrial implies industry, the manufacturing of goods through factories or with machines, is no longer the driving force of the economy nor the major employer of workers. Services and information cannot be produced in factories. As the means of production shifts, the means of consumption does as well. As knowledge and services cannot be transferred through inheritance and can be shared or given without any loss, the means of providing these products is different than the industrial society?s means of production. Therefore the means of consumption will be different as well. The means of consumption has replaced the means of production in importance.
Structural mobility, changes in the number and kinds of jobs available in a society, has shifted control to the worker. As technology allows many of the jobs of old, in factories, assembly lines, etc., to become automated, workers today must become educated, obtain knowledge, to become good producers. Individuals now have power, as they own the means of production, and the means of consumption has become the way to make money. Those that own the means of consumption will become top dogs.