The Emperor's New Clothes or an Enduring IT Fashion? Analyzing the Lifecycle of Industry 4.0 through the Lens of Management Fashion Theory

Autor(en): Oesterreich, Thuy Duong
Schuir, Julian
Teuteberg, Frank 
Stichwörter: ARCHITECTURE; BIG DATA; content analysis; diffusion lifecycle analysis; discourse lifecycle analysis; Environmental Sciences; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Environmental Studies; FUTURE; Green & Sustainable Science & Technology; Industry 4.0; management fashion theory; MANAGERIAL CHALLENGES; MODEL; OPPORTUNITIES; RESEARCH AGENDA; Science & Technology - Other Topics; SUSTAINABILITY; SYSTEMS; TECHNOLOGY
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Herausgeber: MDPI
Volumen: 12
Ausgabe: 21
This paper examines the recent hype around Industry 4.0 through the lens of management fashion theory to answer the question of how Industry 4.0 has emerged as a management fashion and to what extent it has diffused in organizational practice. Therefore, we conducted a comprehensive discourse lifecycle analysis based on 3920 academic and practical publications comprising a rhetoric and content analysis along with a diffusion lifecycle analysis involving selected diffusion indicators. The findings indicate that Industry 4.0 constitutes an enduring management fashion that has recently reached its peak, with the first signs for an upcoming downswing. The discourse around Industry 4.0 illustrates the concept as a panacea for business problems such as a lack of sustainability and intense global competition; however, the diffusion lifecycle analysis indicates hesitation among companies to adopt Industry 4.0 due to the ambiguity in the conceptual interpretation. The findings enable a more holistic understanding of the recent developments around Industry 4.0 and help to identify actions for the involved political, practical and academic actors. To actively shape the Industry 4.0 fashion development path, more institutional work is needed to help Industry 4.0 fashion users with their adoption engagements and hence achieve ``professionalization'' at an organizational level.
DOI: 10.3390/su12218828

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