The most basic relevant groups are the users and the producers of the technological artifact, but most often many subgroups can be delineated – users with different socioeconomic status, competing producers, etc. Sometimes there are relevant groups who are neither users, nor producers of the technology, for example, journalists, politicians, and civil organizations. Trevor Pinch has argued that the salespeople of technology should also be included in the study of technology.  The groups can be distinguished based on their shared or diverging interpretations of the technology in question.
Peter Blau played an important role in shaping the field of modern sociology and is one of the most influential post-war American sociologists. He is sometimes considered the last great "grand theorist" of twentieth century American sociology. While Blau’s work in the differentiation of organizations was short-lived, his style of research was not. He provided an exemplar of how to do research and how to build theory. He proved that general and valuable deductive theory was possible in sociology. Blau eventually paved the way for many young sociologists that then used similar styles of research and deductive theory. In addition to that, he, along with the help of Otis Dudley Duncan , introduced multiple regression and path analysis to the sociological audience. These two methods currently are the go-to methods of quantitative sociology. Blau's foundational theories continue to give momentum for development in social science and his ideas are still widely used.