Industry 4.0 : Overcoming the barriers of Industry 4.0 by effective change management

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Författare: Moa Borland; Alexander Hall; [2021]

Nyckelord: ;

Sammanfattning: Background Industry 4.0 is the next industrial revolution. By connecting the industry with the IT development, cloud base solutions and in the end be able to monitor and act before implications occur. Implementing Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing industry will require changes to the way the production operates. There are many articles discussing what this new technology is and what it means for each industry, but few have studied how these technologies should be implemented and the barriers(a structure that prevents to move forward) concerning technology and employee behaviour that pose challenges to the implementation. Furthermore, how a change strategy could be developed to suit a production industry that attempts to implement advanced technology.  Objective Identify barriers towards Industry 4.0 and present suggestions for how managers can overcome these barriers by considering success factors and utilizing effective change management to increase the chance of successful implementation of Industry 4.0.  Method Qualitative interviews conducted with 11 technology experts and change leaders at one global manufacturing conglomerate. Employees that operated in complex production facilities in many parts of the world that has started their journey towards Industry 4.0. The findings from the interviews were analysed towards the research questions and coded into main categories. These categories were later on compared toward literature to find gaps or similarities between them.  Findings and discussion There are numerous barriers and success factors to consider while implementing Industry 4.0 at a manufacturing firm. The study confirmed findings from previous research such that employee resistance is a barrier and that communication, collaboration, participation are success factors. In addition, this study indicates that trust among employees and managers is a major success factor for Industry 4.0 and perhaps technology shifts in general, which has been unexplored in previous research. This aspect would be interesting to study quantitatively in future research, but even if this research focused on Industry 4.0 many barriers and the suggested action to be included in a strategy could probably be adapted to technology shifts. To succeed with the change a strategy for the implementation of Industry 4.0 needs to be developed. Key aspects such as good information, including the right employees and that the change is in line with overall goals and vision of the company were both found in the literature of classic change management and during the interviews. An interesting finding was that the change strategy could be influenced by an IT development process but also where the change will be managed. This study suggests that this requires further research before any general recommendation can be made. 

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