Title: New business models with Industrie 4.0 in the German Mittelstand

Authors: Patricia Kraft; Roland Helm; Michael Dowling

Addresses: Professor for International Business, Munich Business School, Elsenheimerstr. 61, 80687 Munich, Germany ' Professor of Industrial Marketing, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany ' Professor of Innovation and Technology Management, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany

Abstract: Medium-sized enterprises called the 'Mittelstand' are an important pillar of the German economy. However, these firms have not been as quick to develop new digital business models that characterise a shift to digital manufacturing, which is called 'Industrie 4.0' or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in Germany. In this paper, we analyse different types of digital business models, including important external drivers (technology, security, and standards) and internal drivers (business processes, organisation forms, inter-firm cooperation, and human resources strategies). We show that the complexity and the chances of success of new business models with Industrie 4.0 increase with the integration of players from the respective ecosystem and a focus on the system rather than the product. To illustrate such business models in detail, we analyse a German 'Mittelstand' manufacturer that is currently implementing Industrie 4.0.

Keywords: digital business models; digital manufacturing; Industrie 4.0; IIoT; Industrial Internet of Things; German Mittelstand; Germany; technology; hybrid products; case study.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPM.2021.114308

International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2021 Vol.21 No.1, pp.47 - 68

Received: 18 Jul 2019
Accepted: 18 Mar 2020

Published online: 09 Apr 2021 *

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