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Is this a new story of the ‘Two Giants’? A systematic literature review of the relationship between industry 4.0, sustainability and its pillars

Michela Piccarozzi, Cecilia Silvestri, Barbara Aquilani and Luca Silvestri

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2022, vol. 177, issue C

Abstract: In recent years’ innovations of Industry 4.0 have attracted considerable interest from researchers in many fields of study, from engineering to management. At the same time, attention to sustainability has grown putting in the spotlight its famous three pillars (economic, environmental, and social). Innovation and sustainability, as a consequence, seem to go hand in hand even more and “sustainable development” has become a well-known issue at a broad level. In the managerial field, recent studies show a growing attention at these topics, even if the strength of the relationship between Industry 4.0 innovations and sustainability has not yet been clarified. Given this research gap, the paper aims at studying Industry 4.0 and sustainability with its three pillars. A systematic review of the literature has been performed to analyze the main topic, the pillars of sustainability mainly considered and last, the possible outfalls of Industry 4.0 on sustainability. From a theoretical point of view, this paper contributes to the systematization of literature at the intersection between Industry 4.0 and sustainability, while from a managerial point of view it sheds light on implications and opportunities arising from considering the outfalls of innovations coming from Industry 4.0 on sustainability and its pillars.

Keywords: Industry 4.0; Sustainability; Pillars; Management; Systematic literature review (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2022.121511

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