Despite the many benefits associated with the Industry 4.0 megatrend, researchers and practitioners alike have warned against an overly technocentric implementation of such a paradigm. Industry 4.0 should be corroborated by an awareness of its wider social implications, otherwise it might threaten human and societal well-being. Notably, firms should innovate and maintain competitiveness by respecting human values and developing collaborative relationships between humans and robots, while improving the wider societal well-being as well as recognizing ethical and socio-cultural factors. Yet, firms, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), face several challenges concerning a more human-centered evolution of Industry 4.0, as they lack adequate resources, competences, and cultural mindsets. In this regard, extant literature has suggested that external actors, such as governmental institutions, universities, and research centers might assist SMEs in effectively implementing Industry 4.0. Still, the role of such actors has yet to be explored. Therefore, this article aims to empirically investigate the role of competence centers (CCs), which bring together the main actors within innovation ecosystems, in supporting SMEs towards a more human-centered implementation of the Industry 4.0 paradigm. By conducting a multiple case study among Italian CCs, the article contributes to the formalization of the role of CCs in assisting SMEs during the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies, utilizing a more holistic vision.

The Role of External Actors in SMEs’ Human-Centered Industry 4.0 Adoption: An Empirical Perspective on Italian Competence Centers / Ietto, Beatrice; Ancillai, Chiara; Sabatini, Andrea; Carayannis, Elias G.; Gregori, Gian Luca. - In: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 0018-9391. - ELETTRONICO. - 71:(2024), pp. 1057-1072. [10.1109/TEM.2022.3144881]

The Role of External Actors in SMEs’ Human-Centered Industry 4.0 Adoption: An Empirical Perspective on Italian Competence Centers.

Beatrice Ietto
;
Chiara Ancillai;Andrea Sabatini;Gian Luca Gregori
2024-01-01

Abstract

Despite the many benefits associated with the Industry 4.0 megatrend, researchers and practitioners alike have warned against an overly technocentric implementation of such a paradigm. Industry 4.0 should be corroborated by an awareness of its wider social implications, otherwise it might threaten human and societal well-being. Notably, firms should innovate and maintain competitiveness by respecting human values and developing collaborative relationships between humans and robots, while improving the wider societal well-being as well as recognizing ethical and socio-cultural factors. Yet, firms, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), face several challenges concerning a more human-centered evolution of Industry 4.0, as they lack adequate resources, competences, and cultural mindsets. In this regard, extant literature has suggested that external actors, such as governmental institutions, universities, and research centers might assist SMEs in effectively implementing Industry 4.0. Still, the role of such actors has yet to be explored. Therefore, this article aims to empirically investigate the role of competence centers (CCs), which bring together the main actors within innovation ecosystems, in supporting SMEs towards a more human-centered implementation of the Industry 4.0 paradigm. By conducting a multiple case study among Italian CCs, the article contributes to the formalization of the role of CCs in assisting SMEs during the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies, utilizing a more holistic vision.
2024
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/296020
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