Innovating in the fourth industrial revolution: disentangling trends and trajectories


Innovating in the fourth industrial revolution: disentangling trends and trajectories

Nicola Del Sarto - Valentina Cucino - Giulio Ferrigno - Andrea Paraboschi - Andrea Piccaluga

Objectives of the paper: This study aims to analyze the existing literature on Industry 4.0 in business and management, with a focus on innovation context. It identifies gaps in the current research knowledge and offers trends and trajectories for further research on the topic.

Methodology: A systematic literature review has been conducted on Industry 4.0 and innovation. We identified four themes that epitomize the current development of the literature on the topic.

Findings: This review highlights four six main relevant topics in management literature related to the fourth industrial revolution: 1) machines and industrial internet; 2), people and data; 3) production and consumption; and 4) Employment in the digital era. Furthermore, it identifies research gaps and highlights four emerging research themes for future researchers: 1) safety; 2) digital identity, privacy and traceability; 3) a new concept of city; and 4) sustainable mobility.

Practical implications: Our review on the literature will help organizations to align their innovation processes to current development of the technologies that feature Industry 4.0 revolution.

Limitations of the research: This study has a limitation in terms of its empirical dimensions. The future studies may conduct a meta-analysis of articles on industry 4.0 in innovation space.

Originality: Research on industry 4.0 and innovation is still at the embryonic stage. This study is a pioneering effort to review the existing themes that epitomize research on the topic and identify research priorities for scholars and practitioners.

#Fourth Industrial Revolution #Industry 4.0; Big Data; Digital transformation