The purpose of this study is to examine the implementation of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) through the lens of the dynamic capabilities framework. Contrary to most existing research, this study chooses a cross-national viewpoint, exploring companies operating in two emerging economies.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 80 company managers operating in eight industries in Vietnam and Bolivia. The chosen inductive analysis was supported by qualitative content analysis and data structure.
The analysis reveals 13 conceptual dimensions. For instance, sensing opportunities underlines tangible and intangible “direct prospects”, such as enhanced accuracy, speed and cost effectiveness, whereas “operational management pressures” (sensing threats) identify the dilemma of changing individuals’ mindset, recruitment and addressing financial needs. While there is an overall agreement in key dimensions, differences between managers from both countries also arise, including staff’s adaptation and constant upskilling.
Empirically, this study responds to calls for cross-national studies investigating I4.0 initiatives. In doing so, the data gathered from company managers engaged in business in emerging economies afford new perspectives, with practitioner value. Theoretically, the numerous dimensions emerging from the data analysis provide useful conceptual insights to understand managerial aspects in considering and adapting to I4.0 expectations and requirements. These insights are reinforced by the development of a conceptual model that illuminates the initiatives, efforts and challenges of embracing this phenomenon.
Declaration: This article reports no conflict of interest and no funding.
Vu, O.T.K., Duarte Alonso, A., Buitrago Solis, M.A., Goyzueta, S., Nguyen, T., McClelland, R., Tran, T.D., Nguyen, N., Huynh, H.T.N. and Atay, E. (2022), "A dynamic capabilities approach of Industry 4.0: the experiences of managers operating in two emerging economies", European Business Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBR-06-2022-0125
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