According to William F. Ogburn, cultural lag occurs because. “all parts of a culture do not change at the time same rate” just as all participants in a rate do not run at the same pace. Some are fast and others lag behind. Since various parts of culture are interrelated and interdependent, a change in one part requires adjustments in other parts. There are several constraints which make such readjustments difficult, e.g.,
(ii) Wrong notions
(iii) Conservative attitudes
(v) Vested interests
(vi) Political factors.
These factors which cause cultural lag reduce the scope of social change. Non-material culture is inherently conservative and technological change requires changes in non-material culture. For example, many people are modern in their dress habits but shun ‘fast foods’. In some cultures, religious sentiments are a hurdle in population control despite new techniques of birth control.
Knowledge and understanding of cultural lag are important to business decision making. Due to cultural lag, different markets may be at different markets may be at different levels of readiness to accept a new product or service. Marketers of new products and techniques must identify the factors causing the lag and take appropriate measures to overcome the lag. Any attempt to introduce a new product in a market which is culturally not ready to adopt it, is likely to fail.