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Industry 4.0 investments in manufacturing firms and internationalization

Marco Bettiol (), Mauro Capestro, Valentina De Marchi () and Eleonora Di Maria
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Marco Bettiol: DSEA, University of Padova
Mauro Capestro: DSEA, University of Padova
Eleonora Di Maria: DSEA, University of Padova

No 245, "Marco Fanno" Working Papers from Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno"

Abstract: There is a growing attention on the relationship between investments in industry 4.0 technologies – specifically 3D printing – and internationalization processes. Such technologies can modify the scale and the organization of manufacturing processes, potentially pushing firms in the redefinition of their activities worldwide. At the same time, firms with manufacturing activities located in high-cost countries can benefit from industry 4.0 investments for increasing productivity. Although these relevant implications, limited attention is given to explore how manufacturing firms adopt industry 4.0 technologies in relation to their degree of internationalization. Based on an original dataset of about 1,400 Italian manufacturing firms, the paper analyzes the technological investments strategies of 200 Industry 4.0 adopters in terms of intensity of technological adoption, differences in the technological solutions used and related motivations, taking into account the location of their manufacturing activities as well as export. Results suggest that the adoption of 4.0 technologies per se is independent from the level of internationalization, while internationalized and domestic firms invest in different technologies. Among the four groups of firms identified (global/domestic sourcing – export/domestic market) differences in motivations arise as well as in the steps of value chains where technologies have been implemented.

Keywords: industry 4.0; internationalization; manufacturing; global sourcing; high-cost countries; 3D printing; automation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 19 pages
Date: 2020-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-eur and nep-int
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