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Towards a firm-level technological capability framework to endorse and actualize the Fourth Industrial Revolution in developing countries

Jahan Ara Peerally, Fernando Santiago, Claudia De Fuentes and Sedigheh Moghavvemi

Research Policy, 2022, vol. 51, issue 10

Abstract: An essential precondition for developing countries to engage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is to accelerate the creation and accumulation of firm-level technological capabilities necessary for digital transformation. Through an analysis of secondary data collected from a systematic review of the 4IR literature, we build on Lall's (1992) and Bell and Pavitt's (1995) frameworks, to develop an updated framework of firm-level technological capabilities which accounts for the refined set of human and organizational activities and resources required by firms for the uptake of 4IR technologies and processes along their digital transformation journey. The framework proposes four levels of increasingly complex technological capabilities across six thematic groups of technological and organizational functions. The framework represents an initial basis for examining the micro-level capabilities required by firms to launch, endorse and actualize the 4IR. Our analysis leads to a definition of 4IR firm-level technological capabilities which better reflects the new realities of this revolution. We discuss the implications of the proposed framework, and we conclude with the contributions of our study from the academic, policy and management perspectives.

Keywords: Capability-building; Technological capabilities; Fourth Industrial Revolution; Developing countries; Firm-level; Manufacturing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O31 O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2022.104563

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