The impact of barriers and incentives on the relationship between openness to Industry 4.0 and performance have so far received little scholarly attention. As a result, this paper explores this relationship by employing a mixed methods approach. A qualitative analysis using in-depth interviews and multiple case studies identifies prominent barriers and incentives, whilst a quantitative analysis on a representative sample of 500 local manufacturing units in Piedmont (a region of Northern Italy) is undertaken via an OLS regression-based path analysis. The results of the parallel-serial multiple mediation model show that: (1) greater openness to Industry 4.0 is related to better performance; (2) greater openness to Industry 4.0 leads to a higher perception of barriers; (3) greater knowledge-related and economic and financial barriers improve performance, abstracting from the adoption of incentives; and (4) greater openness to Industry 4.0 drives the adoption of incentives. However, perceived economic and financial barriers are found not to drive firms to adopt more incentives. The study contributes to the Industry 4.0 literature by identifying previously unidentified strengths and weaknesses to barriers and incentives, and highlights the necessity of policies that reflect real firms’ needs.

Openness to Industry 4.0 and performance: The impact of barriers and incentives.

Cugno M.
;
Castagnoli R.
;
2021

Abstract

The impact of barriers and incentives on the relationship between openness to Industry 4.0 and performance have so far received little scholarly attention. As a result, this paper explores this relationship by employing a mixed methods approach. A qualitative analysis using in-depth interviews and multiple case studies identifies prominent barriers and incentives, whilst a quantitative analysis on a representative sample of 500 local manufacturing units in Piedmont (a region of Northern Italy) is undertaken via an OLS regression-based path analysis. The results of the parallel-serial multiple mediation model show that: (1) greater openness to Industry 4.0 is related to better performance; (2) greater openness to Industry 4.0 leads to a higher perception of barriers; (3) greater knowledge-related and economic and financial barriers improve performance, abstracting from the adoption of incentives; and (4) greater openness to Industry 4.0 drives the adoption of incentives. However, perceived economic and financial barriers are found not to drive firms to adopt more incentives. The study contributes to the Industry 4.0 literature by identifying previously unidentified strengths and weaknesses to barriers and incentives, and highlights the necessity of policies that reflect real firms’ needs.
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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162521001888
Industry 4.0, Openness, Performance, Barriers, Incentives, Mediators
Cugno, M., Castagnoli, R., & Büchi, G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1801528
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