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Industry 4.0 as policy-driven discourse to institutionalize innovation systems in manufacturing

Georg Reischauer

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2018, vol. 132, issue C, 26-33

Abstract: We are witnessing an increasing adoption of digital technologies in manufacturing industries around the globe. This trend is often debated under the label Industry 4.0. A key claim put forward in these debates is that Industry 4.0 represents a revolution that will reshape manufacturing industries akin to previous industrial revolutions. Despite the popularity of this claim, it provides little help to clarify the identity of Industry 4.0. Such a clarification is however much needed given the worldwide proliferation of digital technologies in manufacturing industries. I address this gap by arguing to view Industry 4.0 as policy-driven innovation discourse in manufacturing industries that aims to institutionalize innovation systems that encompass business, academia, and politics. This clarification of the identity of Industry 4.0 adds to a better understanding of the relationship between manufacturing and politics as well as technological change in manufacturing.

Keywords: Industry 4.0; Digital manufacturing; Discourse; Innovation system; Triple Helix; Technology and innovation studies; Institutional theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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