Enablers of Industry 4.0 Technology Adoption: Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Desirée H. van Dun, Maneesh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademicpeer-review


Many manufacturers are exploring the adoption of Industry 4.0-type technologies in their operations. Employee’s contribution to high-tech initiatives is key to successful Industry 4.0 technology adoption. Few studies have explored the determinants of employee acceptance of Industry 4.0 technology adoption, including the role of their managers. Rooted in the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model and social exchange theory, this abductive research follows an in-depth comparative case study approach. The two studied Dutch manufacturing firms engaged in the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in their primary processes, including cyber-physical systems and augmented reality. A mix of qualitative and quantitative methods was used, consisting of field visits, 14 semi-structured interviews with managers and frontline employees engaged in Industry 4.0 technology adoption, and the same participants filled in an exploratory questionnaire. The cross-case comparison introduces manager’s need to adopt a transformational leadership style for employees to accept Industry 4.0 technology adoption. Secondly, manager’s and employee’s recognition and serving of their own and others’ emotions through emotional intelligence are proposed as moderators to existing Industry 4.0 technology user acceptance theorizing. Synthesizing these insights with those from the domain of Organizational Behavior, propositions and a conceptual model were derived to “bring the manager back” into future Operations Management research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2021
Event81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2021: Bringing the Manager Back in Management - Virtual
Duration: 30 Jul 20213 Aug 2021
Conference number: 81


Conference81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2021
Abbreviated titleAOM 2021
Internet address

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