Title: Rethinking Industry 4.0: is there life beyond manufacturing?

Authors: Xavier Ferrás-Hernández

Addresses: ESADE, Universitat Ramon Llull, Av. Torre Blanca, 59, 08172 Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: Industry 4.0 is a concept born within the business and institutional domain. As a result of its popularity, it has been a focus of academic research since 2012. Industry 4.0 is the result of the convergence of different digital technologies in industrial productive systems. It refers to a digitised model of manufacturing, but there is no consensus on what exactly Industry 4.0 is, where its borders are, what organisational domains it comprises, or what technologies support this model. In practical terms, any company operating under an Industry 4.0 framework is subjected to intense technological change. Therefore, Industry 4.0 must be understood as a dynamic and evolving concept. From the academic perspective, it is necessary to clarify the term, understand the underlying factors and connect Industry 4.0 with other management research streams, such as digital transformation, open innovation or corporate venturing. At the crossroads between Industry 4.0 and these fields, new research opportunities appear.

Keywords: Industry 4.0; digital transformation; advanced manufacturing; internet of things; IoT; artificial intelligence; open innovation; new business models; corporate venturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2020.111403

International Journal of Business Environment, 2020 Vol.11 No.4, pp.404 - 416

Received: 27 Jan 2020
Accepted: 02 Mar 2020

Published online: 25 Nov 2020 *

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