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Business culture 4.0 2017

A collection of studies focusing on the progress made so far by the Industry 4.0 project

The question of what impact industrial policy has on the real system of production is also essential for the growth of a conscious business culture, capable of a serious evaluation of the environment in which companies evolve.

To answer this question, we are able to turn to this collection of research and analysis, edited by Elena Prodi, Francesco Seghezzi and Michele Tiraboschi for Adapt, on the effects of the Industry 4.0 plan one year after its launch.

“Il piano Industria 4.0 un anno dopo. Analisi e prospettive future” (The Industry 4.0 plan one year on. Analysis and future prospects) features a body of research which aims at assessing the current state of the implementation of Industry 4.0 in Italy. It is a piece of work which, in the end, only partially supports what has been done so far.

The researchers write at the beginning of the collection: “Without skills and without new forms of organisation and work regulations, there is a risk that the investments made so far will be wasted, or used merely for a simple renovation of what we already have. At the same time, the combination of investments in technology and the skills capable of directing these technologies could be an excellent opportunity to reverse the path of stagnant productivity and lead us to a new resurgence in terms of work and industrial relations”.

The researchers coordinated their investigations based on this premise, starting with an analysis of Industry 4.0 in terms of employment (“not only machinery and technology”), before moving to an analysis of the links between industrial relations, the job market and Industry 4.0. This is followed by another important analysis on various factors related to research and innovation. The collection then concludes with a group of research on the experiences of Industry 4.0 in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

The researchers write: “Until now, the plan has assumed a vision focused primarily on the most technological aspects of technologies tied to the new productive model of Industry 4.0. As a result, much of the attention has been given to investments in new innovative machinery and accompanying software with a manufacturing logic which seems to be a model from the past.”They continue: “This is an environment characterised by a notable complexity, united to productive systems which, by increasingly personalising products and services in line with the central role given to the consumer, often present elements of unpredictability and non-linearity. For this reason, and considering the high level of the technologies used, it is essential the focus is moved towards the skills and instruments deployed to create them.”

“The Industry 4.0 plan one year on” may not be an easy read, but it is certainly worth the effort if you want to understand the context of a project which is important for Italian companies in terms of their organisational approach, their culture of production and their future growth.

Il piano Industria 4.0  un anno dopo. Analisi e prospettive future (The Industry 4.0 plan one year on. Analysis and future prospects)

Elena Prodi, Francesco Seghezzi, Michele Tiraboschi (edited by)

ADAPT University Press , 2017