Relationships between industry 4.0, sustainable manufacturing and circular economy: proposal of a research framework

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

191 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The digital revolution has brought many challenges and opportunities for the manufacturing firms. The impact of Industry 4.0 technology adoption on sustainable manufacturing and circular economy has been under-researched. This paper aims to review the latest articles in the area of Industry 4.0, sustainable manufacturing and circular economy and further developed a research framework showing key paths. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative research is performed in two stages. In the first stage, a review of the extant literature is performed to identify the barriers, drivers, challenges and opportunities. In the second stage, a research framework is proposed to integrate Industry 4.0 technology (big data analytics powered artificial intelligence) adoption, sustainable manufacturing and circular economy capabilities. Findings: This research extends the knowledge base by providing a detailed review of Industry 4.0, sustainable manufacturing, and circular economy and proposes a research framework by integrating these three contemporary concepts in the context of supply chain management. Through an exploration of this integrative research framework, the authors propose a future research agenda and seven research propositions. Research limitations/implications: It is important to understand the interplay between institutional pressures, tangible resources and human skills for Industry 4.0 technology (big data analytics powered artificial intelligence) adoption. Industry 4.0 technology (big data analytics powered artificial intelligence) adoption can positively influence sustainable manufacturing and circular economy capabilities. Managers must also put more attention to sustainable manufacturing to develop circular economic capabilities. Social implications: Factory workers and the local communities generally suffer from various adverse effects resulting from the traditional manufacturing process. The quality of the environment is deteriorating to such an extent that people even staying miles away from the factory are also affected due to environmental pollution that is generated from factory operations. Hence, sustainable manufacturing is the only choice left to manufacturers that can help in the transition to a circular economy. The research framework can help firms to enhance circular economy capabilities. Originality/value: This review paper contains the most updated work on Industry 4.0, sustainable manufacturing and circular economy. It also proposes a research framework to integrate these three concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-898
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • Industry 4.0
  • Literature review
  • Resource-based view theory
  • Sustainable manufacturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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