Patterns and drivers of Industry 4.0 technology adoption in SMEs: 20th International CINet Conference

Fei Yu, Tim Schweisfurth, David Grube Hansen

Research output: Other contributionAcademic


Industry 4.0, known as the fourth technological transformation towards digital-physical systems in manufacturing, creates disruptive impact on industry. Manufacturing firms, especially small and medium sized firms, are facing various challenges and must constantly innovate to remain competitive. Understanding what drives the adoption of I 4.0 technology is relevant since it fosters our understanding of how firms can become more innovative. This will help managers to craft technology strategies and policy makers to foster the adoption of new technologies. In this study, we investigate how technology and firm related factors affect implementation decisions of Industry 4.0 in SMEs. We use an exploratory approach by collecting data via a survey with the focus on Industry 4.0 in SMEs. The results indicate that knowledge and expected benefits of a technology drive adoption of I 4.0 technologies on technology level. They also indicate that firms with high levels of process automation and high product variance are more likely to implement I 4.0 technologies. Our study creates a better understanding of the status, challenges, and plans about Industry 4.0 adoption in SMEs, which will support the development of SME-friendly manufacturing tools and systems and craft managers’ and policy-makers’ understanding of I 4.0 technologies.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherContinuous Innovation Network
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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