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Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020384

Development of a Risk Framework for Industry 4.0 in the Context of Sustainability for Established Manufacturers

1
Chair of Supply Chain Management, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Lange Gasse 20, 90403 Nürnberg, Germany
2
Chair of Industrial Management, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Lange Gasse 20, 90403 Nürnberg, Germany
3
Department of Logistics and Operations Management, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Urstein Süd 1, 5412 Puch bei Hallein, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: Industry 4.0; Industrial Internet of Things; digital transformation; sustainability; Triple Bottom Line; risk management; small and medium-sized enterprises; qualitative study Industry 4.0; Industrial Internet of Things; digital transformation; sustainability; Triple Bottom Line; risk management; small and medium-sized enterprises; qualitative study
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Birkel, H.S.; Veile, J.W.; Müller, J.M.; Hartmann, E.; Voigt, K.-I. Development of a Risk Framework for Industry 4.0 in the Context of Sustainability for Established Manufacturers. Sustainability 2019, 11, 384.

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