The concept of “Industry 4.0” is expected to bring a multitude of benefits for industrial value creation. However, the associated risks hamper its implementation and lack a comprehensive overview. In response, the paper proposes a framework of risks in the context of Industry 4.0 that is related to the Triple Bottom Line of sustainability. The framework is developed from a literature review, as well as from 14 in-depth expert interviews. With respect to economic risks, the risks that are associated with high or false investments are outlined, as well as the threatened business models and increased competition from new market entrants. From an ecological perspective, the increased waste and energy consumption, as well as possible ecological risks related to the concept “lot size one”, are described. From a social perspective, the job losses, risks associated with organizational transformation, and employee requalification, as well as internal resistance, are among the aspects that are considered. Additionally, risks can be associated with technical risks, e.g., technical integration, information technology (IT)-related risks such as data security, and legal and political risks, such as for instance unsolved legal clarity in terms of data possession. Conclusively, the paper discusses the framework with the extant literature, proposes managerial and theoretical implications, and suggests avenues for future research.
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