Title: The global productivity growth and research productivity declines: the (urgent) need for a 'fifth industrial revolution' imperative

Authors: Chris William Callaghan

Addresses: School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein, 2001, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract: Given that the first, second, and third industrial revolutions might be defined by their radical impact on productivity, and that the productivity gains promised by the 'fourth industrial revolution' have largely failed to materialise in the productivity statistics, particularly in total factor productivity, this article discuses certain theory that predicts the next radical increase in productivity, and that suggests ways to enable it. In doing so, a proposed research agenda is made explicit, with the goal of reversing the set of global declining trends in productivity growth, research productivity, and the failure of emergent technologies to contribute to these forms of productivity. The goal of this proposed research agenda is to uncover and predict the source of the next radical increase in productivity, and given its importance, this research agenda is taken to relate to what might be usefully called the 'fifth industrial revolution'.

Keywords: fourth industrial revolution; 4IR; fifth industrial revolution; innovation; management science theory development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2021.112816

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2021 Vol.24 No.2, pp.197 - 217

Received: 22 May 2019
Accepted: 16 Jun 2019

Published online: 18 Jan 2021 *

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