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Organizational and managerial challenges in the path toward Industry 4.0

Lara Agostini (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Padova, Italy)
Roberto Filippini (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Padova, Italy)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 7 January 2019

Issue publication date: 17 May 2019

5568

Abstract

Purpose

Currently, the expectancy that surrounds the Fourth Industrial Revolution, commonly referred to as Industry 4.0 (I4.0), is huge. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to unveil whether and how organizational and managerial practices are associated to different levels of adoption of I4.0 technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

To reach this aim, the authors carried out a survey involving Italian manufacturing firms. Then, the authors used a cluster analysis and t-test to analyze data.

Findings

Results show that two clusters of firms based on their level of adoption of I4.0 technologies (high vs low) can be identified. Then, using a t-test, the authors found statistically significant higher levels of a number of organizational and managerial practices for firms with a higher level of adoption of I4.0 technologies.

Practical implications

This paper contributes to the debate surrounding I4.0 by stressing the organizational and managerial challenges that firms willing to undertake an I4.0 transformation have to face, which goes beyond the sole application of I4.0 technologies.

Social implications

Entrepreneurs and managers need to be aware that the path toward I4.0 requires not only focusing on the application of the I4.0 technologies, but also on the development of a series of organizational and managerial practices that become key to face the fourth Industrial Revolution.

Originality/value

The authors posit here that I4.0 requires firms to bridge the capability gap, as well as overcome cultural barriers preventing entrepreneurs and managers to change their way of doing business. To this regard, this study highlights I4.0 is an all-encompassing paradigm that involves many dimensions of the firm.

Keywords

Citation

Agostini, L. and Filippini, R. (2019), "Organizational and managerial challenges in the path toward Industry 4.0", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 406-421. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-02-2018-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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