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Title: Managing industry 4.0 automation for fair ethical business development: A single case study
Authors: Margherita, Emanuele Gabriel 
Braccini, Alessio Maria 
Issue Date: 2021
Manufacturing organisations are adopting Industry 4.0 (I40) technologies to automate decision making and operational tasks down the assembly line. Manufacturing organisations can achieve benefits at the level of capital and labour welfare through a more optimised production process, stable employment and enriched duties for workers. Nevertheless, the benefits of I40 adoption produce on the capital could be detrimental for the labour welfare. I40 automation can lead to job disruption, impoverishment of workforce roles and expertise along the production process. There is a lack of studies that explores how organisations adopt I40 technologies to reach a fair balance between capital and labour welfare benefits because management privileges the I40 automation potential over the workforce role in I40 adoption. We address this gap by conducting a single case study of the Italian production branch of an international manufacturing organisation adopting I40 technologies. The results show that organisations achieve a fair balance between capital and labour welfare benefits by deploying I40 technologies with a worker-centric approach. I40 assembly line operates with a sociotechnical interplay between technologies and workers. I40 technologies automate repetitive and dangerous activities, and workers reduce routine work and enrich their duties taking on supervision activities on the assembly line. To this end, workers are trained to acquire digital competencies and maintain a higher level of knowledge of the production activities.
ISSN: 0040-1625
DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2021.121048
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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